Making sense of the world and ourselves in challenging times

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a book for these troubled times. It’s as beautiful as it is insightful

Making sense of the world and ourselves in challenging timesIt’s always good to rediscover an excellent book, especially in these times. I recently borrowed The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz from my local library to have an audio book to listen to when going for walks with my dog. What a treasure! Ruiz draws from his Indigenous heritage, teaching the ancient wisdom of…

Just do the right thing – no matter what

You may never know the outcome of your actions. But you can know with certainty the results of doing nothing

Just do the right thing – no matter whatIn studying the history of social change, I’m moved by the number of great people who died never knowing the full extent of their contribution to a better world. Three examples from the 20th century are Raphael Lemkin, Peter Bryce and Viola Desmond. Lemkin was a brilliant lawyer and professor. He was also a Polish…

We must face up to Canada’s dark past

Telling our Indigenous people to ‘get over it’ comes dangerously close to outright genocide denial

We must face up to Canada’s dark pastAs tensions have mounted in Canada in recent months over land claims and Indigenous rights, I’ve heard and read many variations of the phrase, “The Indigenous just need to get over it.” I wonder if the people who embrace this view really know what they’re saying. It reflects complete ignorance of the history of Canada…

The rise of Bernie Sanders’ ideas in the U.S. was inevitable

Corporate Democrats don’t seem to realize they’ve lost the trust of American people disillusioned by the lack of progress

The rise of Bernie Sanders’ ideas in the U.S. was inevitablePierre Trudeau once said to an American audience, “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant … one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” The United States has built one of the most powerful empires the world has ever known. The founders created an ingenious system to allow for…

Trust the Wet’suwet’en to make the best possible decision

I have no right to tell my neighbours what to do with a natural gas pipeline. We should leave it in their hands

Trust the Wet’suwet’en to make the best possible decisionSwiss physician and author Paul Tournier said, “The worst thing is not being wrong, but being sure one is not wrong.” I wrote a column several weeks ago stating that I support the Wet’suwet’en in their opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline being built through their territory. What I have come to realize is that…

When we understand ourselves, great things are possible

Sometimes technology allows us deal with our challenges and sometimes we need to ask for help from our neighbour

When we understand ourselves, great things are possibleI often tell my students that there are more ways to be smart than how we’ve traditionally measured intelligence in the classroom. If you’re good at reading, writing and mathematics, you generally have little difficulty effectively navigating our education system. The problem is that many of us struggle in these areas. But that doesn’t mean…

Making a commitment to common humanity

We may have different opinions, alliances, ideals, languages, skin colours, gender preferences. These are simply characteristics that add variety to life

Making a commitment to common humanityGroundbreaking American anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” In many ways, this is a call to action for all of us, regardless of our political or economic perspectives. We have the power to change the…

The power of asking a simple question

Some schools in Liberia are well supplied with materials because of the power of one Canadian student asking a simple question

The power of asking a simple questionTeacher and motivational speaker Jack Canfield tells us, “Take the risk to ask for whatever you need and want. If someone says no, you are no worse off than when you started. If someone says yes, you are a lot better off.” Following Canfield’s principle can benefit us and others. This lesson was taught to me by…

I stand with the Wet’suwet’en people

Divide-and-conquer tactics have been used by colonial powers for hundreds of years to get Indigenous groups to succumb to their wishes

I stand with the Wet’suwet’en peopleCanadians take pride in our identity as a peaceful nation that celebrates diversity. These are indeed wonderful ideals but to be authentic, they need to be lived. In 1990, a community in Quebec wanted to expand its golf course and claimed the right to traditional Indigenous lands. The Mohawk people blocked this process and when…

Why nice guys ultimately finish first, in business and life

Ethical companies understand the importance of a good public image, employee satisfaction and having repeat customers

Why nice guys ultimately finish first, in business and lifePhrases like, “It’s a dog eat dog world,” and “Nice guys finish last,” suggest it doesn’t pay to be kind or ethical. If you want to make it in this world, you apparently have to drive a hard bargain and look out for No. 1. Not true, say the statistics. According to the statistics, companies…
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