Power of the Catholic church can tear down walls – even along borders

History shows again and again that the church can mobilize an unstoppable force driven by a desire for love and peace

Power of the Catholic church can tear down walls – even along bordersAs tensions mount in the United States over whether a wall should be built along the Mexican border, little has been written about a force that could well become the determining factor on the issue. Despite its own struggles and coverups, the Catholic church has shown itself to be an insurmountable force when it fully…

The lessons Fred Rogers taught us still resonate

A new documentary, followed by a feature film, bring the spotlight back to Mister Rogers. His legacy is worth rediscovering

The lessons Fred Rogers taught us still resonateFred Rogers said, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.” Of course, Fred Rogers is best known as the star of the television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was not only the main character, however, he was responsible for most of the content of a show that ran…

What kind of legacy are you leaving in your wake?

The message of It’s a Wonderful Life rings true because it speaks of powerful universal truths that will never change

What kind of legacy are you leaving in your wake?Celebrated American filmmaker Steven Spielberg said, “It’s a Wonderful Life shows that every human being on this Earth matters – and that’s a very powerful message.” Released in December 1946 (the same month Spielberg was born) and set in the first half of the 20th century, this film has been a Christmas favourite for generations.…

Drawing out the gifts every child carries

The key is to expose young people to many things and let them decide where they want to excel

Drawing out the gifts every child carriesThe greatest gift to a teacher is seeing former students doing well in life. I’ve been teaching for so long that I’m watching the children of former students enter my classroom. I laughingly refer to myself as an “educational grandparent,” but I can’t deny the joy of this experience. As teachers, we know that we’re…

Invest in education to ensure a strong democracy

The correlation between an educated populace and a vibrant society is clear. But B.C.’s education system is losing ground

Invest in education to ensure a strong democracyFormer American president Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard for democracy, therefore, is education.” I cherish democracy and the democratic process. I value the opinions of others, even when I disagree with them, and see respectful dialogue as vital to…

Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faith

If we share peace and goodwill with others, we find them growing within us. If we share kindness, we become more kind

Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faithThough it’s technically the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ for Christians, many traditions merge to form what we call Christmas. Some traditions are indeed Christian but others aren’t. Some date from eras before Jesus was born and some are more recent. One of the most endearing today is that of Santa Claus, the…

Living well in the moment to create the best past and future

By embracing honesty, integrity, respect, truth, courage, forgiveness, compassion, wisdom and love, we really can’t go wrong

Living well in the moment to create the best past and futureThe concept of time is intriguing. We all have a past and we all have a future, yet we can only experience life in the present and that’s but a flash. The present was once the future and it will soon become the past. How then do we seize the moment in order to create both…

O Tannenbaum symbolizes the entire celebration of Christmas

The Christmas tree is a universal symbol that delivers a message of endurance and light during the dark winter months

O Tannenbaum symbolizes the entire celebration of ChristmasThe traditional German song O Tannenbaum is often translated as O Christmas Tree. This is only partly true, however. The English version is quite different from the German. The essence of the German song is far more universal. One of the beauties of learning languages is discovering what words and poetry mean to the people…

Hearing the stories of survivors of abuse with compassion

If we can be ‘enlightened witnesses’ and listen without judgment, we can help the healing process

Hearing the stories of survivors of abuse with compassionMuch of the study of genocide has focused on how it happens and what it looks like. This is important but perhaps we need to go further. What do people go through after these crimes have been committed? What happens to children? There are many amazing books written by survivors of genocide: Viktor Frankl’s Man’s…

Heal our own pain and the pain of others, and heal the world

Our efforts to stop crime and violence through aggression and punishment have never worked. Compassion works

Heal our own pain and the pain of others, and heal the worldIt’s no secret that there’s tremendous pain in the world. What we’re not often aware of is the source of this pain. Not knowing where it’s from, we give into fear and actually make the problem worse. Canadian physician Gabor Mate has devoted his career to understanding why people do terrible things to themselves and…
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