Broad social change must first be an inside job

None of us can be an agent of positive change unless we’re at peace within their own being

Broad social change must first be an inside jobAs we look at the world, it’s very easy to give up hope. We see a lack of integrity in politicians and obscene wages for business leaders, and we fear for the future of our planet. Some try to tell us that the path to progress is to change the system. If we can overthrow…

“I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living”

History is full of policies established to determine which human lives were valuable and which were not. Are we comfortable going down that path again?

“I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living”By observing history without judgment, we can learn from our mistakes. By examining primary documents – artifacts from a particular era – we can begin to understand the thinking of the people of that time. In an effort to create a more objective perspective, I tell my students to imagine that they’re living in the…

Can meditation create a more peaceful world?

Studies show that meditation and mindfulness training lead to better health in body, mind and spirit. Is that enough to solve the world’s problems?

Can meditation create a more peaceful world?The Dalai Lama said, “If every eight-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” This quote has gained a great deal of traction through social media in recent years. Is the answer to all of the world’s problems really this simple? While meditation does bring with…

Tackling conflict in the Middle East cauldron

The importance of human dignity, forgiveness of our enemies, destroying prejudice and living together in peace

Tackling conflict in the Middle East cauldronAs a third-generation Arab-Canadian, I’ve long been troubled by the conflicts in the Middle East. When I read about riots, fighting, hatred and killing in the land of my ancestors, I experience an odd mix of emotions. Sadness, anger and love all broil inside me, demanding to be heard. My Syrian grandfather left Aleppo and…

Forever young: idealism is the fountain of youth

We’re all born with a purpose. By staying committed to that purpose, our lives can be full of joy and achievement

Forever young: idealism is the fountain of youthLongtime consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader recently said in a radio interview, “The only true aging is the loss of idealism.” Nader, the man who changed the auto industry in the 1960s by publishing Unsafe at Any Speed, continues to be active and inspire others. His most recent book Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think illustrates…

The moral roadblock at the end of ethical shortcuts

The world is full of stories of people who have done the impossible, and it always begins with a goal. But is it a worthy goal and are the methods ethical?

The moral roadblock at the end of ethical shortcuts“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal,” author and radio personality Earl Nightingale tells us. The truth is that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. We really can achieve what we visualize and believe. The world is full of stories of people and groups who have done the impossible, and it…

Free speech: Be open to debate or become irrelevant

The danger arises when we become too attached to ideas and are no longer open to healthy discourse

Free speech: Be open to debate or become irrelevantHanna Holborn Gray, former president of the University of Chicago, said, “Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.” So it’s quite ironic that issues of free speech have taken…

All I’m asking is for a little respect

People who are kind and compassionate are happier and healthier. And doing good for others has a ripple effect throughout society

All I’m asking is for a little respectRadio personality and motivational speaker Earl Nightingale said, “Treat every person as the most important person on Earth.” This may seem counterintuitive. Doesn’t it make sense to only treat people well if they have something to offer us? Why would I treat someone with respect if there’s nothing in it for me? It’s true that…

Look for leadership from within when our leaders fail us

“You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes.”

Look for leadership from within when our leaders fail usIn the early 20th century, Napoleon Hill studied hundreds of the most effective leaders in the world of business. He noted that among other qualities, they pass on credit for any successes to those working under them, while placing blame for any mistakes squarely on their own shoulders. They also have a keen sense of justice,…

Building digital bridges of tolerance and understanding

Good things happen when we can see beyond the viewpoint that we’re convinced is right and take the risk of hearing a perspective we don’t like

Building digital bridges of tolerance and understandingIn his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey tells us that we should “seek first to understand and then to be understood.” It’s one of the key elements in building global harmony. But how do we achieve it in the digital age? How do we communicate effectively with others when we’re on…