The lessons we can all learn from the brave women of the Congo

True power doesn’t rest with the violent, it lies with those of integrity and courage

The lessons we can all learn from the brave women of the CongoCanadian Gen. Romeo Dallaire stated, “At its heart, the Rwandan story is the failure of humanity to heed a call for help from an endangered people.” It would be nice to believe that the world learned its lesson in Rwanda, where nearly one million people were slaughtered in roughly 90 days as the world stood…

The world needs what you have to offer

The goal of education is to stimulate constant growth in knowledge and wisdom in each individual

The world needs what you have to offerIn the world of education, we’re preparing our students for an uncertain future. Some of the jobs of today won’t exist in 20 years. And new jobs are being created all the time, the likes of which we can hardly imagine. Our educational system was primarily designed during the industrial revolution. We needed clerks and…

Music can touch our hearts and give us hope

Playing in harmony is perhaps the most perfect example of human co-operation

Music can touch our hearts and give us hopeLebanese-American writer Kahlil Gibran said, “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life, bringing peace, abolishing strife.” If any group has experienced strife over the last several hundred years, it’s the people of Africa. First they had a significant portion of their population dragged into slavery. Then they had their…

It’s foolish to attempt to place a dollar value on human potential

A society is judged by its treatment of its weakest and most vulnerable members

It’s foolish to attempt to place a dollar value on human potentialAs part of my Social Justice 12 class, I have students present their research on a topic of interest to them. These reports always inspire lively and insightful discussions. A subject that seems to consistently draw a great deal of interest is the Nazi genocide of the handicapped. The Nazis determined that many people were…

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…
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