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…

Keith Richards was wrong – the message does matter

There are many great teachers who instruct us on how to achieve true happiness and success. You're just not likely to find them in popular culture

Keith Richards was wrong – the message does matterI often reflect on where my beliefs come from. I can see they’ve changed significantly over time. As I’ve altered who I listen to, my thoughts and beliefs have changed, and I’ve changed for the better. In my teen years I was strongly influenced by popular culture. I loved the Who, the Rolling Stones, the…

Putting the Greta Effect to good use

The young Swedish climate activist has raised the public consciousness about our day-to-day energy consumption choices

Putting the Greta Effect to good useA new term has entered our language: the Greta Effect. This refers to the impact of Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate activist who was named the 2019 Person of the Year by Time magazine. Thunberg has made it clear that we’re in a climate crisis and the time to act to avert disaster is…

Learning how to be a good friend

Human relationships are complex. But there are some simple principles you can follow to build solid friendships

Learning how to be a good friendEverybody wants to have friends. Growing up, I often heard, “If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend.” To me, that statement always left more questions than answers. I was recently reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey with my students and I came upon the best…

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The wisdom of Star Wars

Trying implies eventually giving up but doing implies putting in the effort until the goal is achieved

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The wisdom of Star WarsStar Wars is one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. References to it are deeply embedded into our culture and the positive truths they bring to life can't be denied. This is most clearly expressed in the teachings of the Jedi, the mystical knights who bring peace and justice to the universe.…

Teach kindness and relationships will grow

Yes, it’s important to teach the core subjects. But the most important thing to teach is kindness

Teach kindness and relationships will growFeminist writer Emma Goldman said, “No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” No more challenging words have ever been written for educators. The relationships that educators have with students is…

Speak the truth and the truth shall set you free

Mental health professionals offer a public service to help us recognize the danger signs and risks of having a tyrant in office and how to disarm them

Speak the truth and the truth shall set you freeTyrannical leaders share certain qualities. In essence, they live under a tremendous fear of being overthrown. Through their actions, almost without exception, they inadvertently make this fear a reality. I know how fortunate I am to live in a free country. I will never forget my first experience of no longer having the freedom to…
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