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…

The arc of the moral universe will bend toward justice

Amidst acts of nationalism and racism, it can be difficult to see the fundamental goodness of humanity – but it’s there

Nov. 9 marked 80 years since Kristallnacht, loosely translated as “the Night of the Broken Glass.” On this horrendous night, rampaging Nazis destroyed Jewish businesses, synagogues, homes and other properties in what was then German territory. There were many deaths and arrests of innocent people in this precursor to the Holocaust. It would nice to…

Sport can unite people and bring about change

In striving to win, we realize our potential and learn to work with people we may not normally associate with

Sport can unite people and bring about changeFormer South African president Nelson Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world.” This may seem a preposterous statement when we look at the greed, corruption and division that often makes the headlines in the world of sport. We read of doping scandals, owners not taking responsibility for the safety of their players…

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?

In the early '60s, Yale's professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human behaviour

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?In the early 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human response. Though the result and ethics of his experiment have been questioned, his findings continue to cause us to ponder what each of us would do if we had to choose between following directions and showing…

We have power – if we’re willing to wield it

The corporate world controls politics only if voters allow it. Let's make educated choices at the ballot box

We have power – if we’re willing to wield itWatching corporate-sponsored mainstream news can be confusing and frustrating. I have great difficulty sitting through report after report about Russia tampering in U.S. elections. Why is this news? What did they stand to gain? Haven’t the Americans been tampering in elections in other countries for generations? Though millions accept the nonsensical issues that dominate the…

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical tradition

Each of us needs to be true to our mission if we’re to be effective agents of universal change

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical traditionReligion can provide guiding principles for a meaningful life, yet few concepts have been more divisive in human history. Seeing the tensions of the first half of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a deeply spiritual man, came to the following conclusion: “One should accept the faith into which one was born, but seek always…

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evil

It’s far too easy to look at others as the problem with the world. It’s much harder to see our own commonality as humans

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evilWhen we read the newspaper or watch our news feeds, we learn about people doing horrendous things to each other. If we allowed ourselves, we could become inundated with evidence of our inherent inhumanity. It then becomes very easy to conclude that evil people walk among us and that something drastic needs to be done…

Humans are not designed to stagnate

Standing still only causes us to move backward

Humans are not designed to stagnate“Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still,” popular Zen master Leo Babauta tells us. Many in our society believe that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and once we reach it, life becomes easy. Others believe that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We’re…

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives

We must embrace who we are as Canadians, the values that set us apart from the rest of the world

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives“Sometimes the medicine we need most comes from remembering who we were so we can reconcile it against who we wish to become,” writes Canadian poet Shane Koyczan. As we study the residential school system and its impact, it’s very important to remember that it wasn’t the fault of 21st century Canadians. It’s a part…
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