Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Chris Adams

Its odd the small things that you remember as a young kid. I sometimes really wonder if you actually do remember these things, or if you dreamed them up and they have becomes some sort of child fairy tale.

I remember quite a bit from my childhood, and I would have to say that I remember more than most could claim.

For example: Whenever I look at the date and it says May 25th, I remember that it is Chris Adam's birthday. Chris and I first saw each other when I was about 5 or 6 years old. We went to pre-school together, and his mother, Sue used to babysit my brother and me. I don't exactly know WHY I remember that Chris's birthday was today, and I can't look at a calendar with the May 25th date and not think of him as a 5 year old. I remember his younger brother Ben and how he was just a baby back then, and to think that he is now about 35 is pretty funny.

Chris's father Ron and my father both worked at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC, and I remember that they had this boat parked in their driveway. When we moved away from Virginia, we lost touch with them. And then one day, my family was visiting some friends in Camp Borden in Ontario during the summer. I looked across the street and I said to my dad, "Hey Dad, that looks like the Adams' boat that they used to have in their driveway." Being a kid is always easier in being an adult and allowing your curiosity to not hold you back. I walked across the road to investigate, and talk about Small Worlds colliding. It was the Adam's house.

That was the last time I saw them.

Well Chris Adams, Happy Birthday. I'm pretty sure that you would be 40 years old today, and if Small Worlds are brought together again by the internet and you see this, I hope you remember me as well. My email address is and if you drop me a line, maybe we can connect once more.

Happy Birthday Chris Adams ;)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Express Yourself!!

I always hear from time to time that people delete their Facebook accounts because of many reasons, and I can understand that. Certainly, Facebook isn't for everybody, even though it works for about 1 Billion people...

However, I've been hearing a lot of people tell me that they've deleted their Facebook accounts primarily because they don't want their employers to have cause to fire them, or get any information on them.

Excuse me?!

The day that I stop expressing myself of who I am as a human being for 24 hours a day vs. the 8 hours a day that my employers sees me, is the day that I toss in the towel as a citizen. Clearly, if my way of being shows up and doesn't sit well with my employer, than they can kiss my ass when they boot me to the door.

I will certainly not suppress who I am as a person and express it as the law of the land allows, and not because I enable the corporate world to use it as a threat to my livelihood. Express yourself as you want to, and not as you "should" when worrying how others see you.

And here's a tip... If you are working for an organization that you empower, I would ask you to see if they really empower you, or simply just Employ you. If you chose the latter, maybe it's time for you to find some company that wants to include you, rather than you being included by their conditions.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mr. Holland's Opus

I forgot what a great movie that Mr. Holland's Opus is!!

As I was watching it, I realized that there were many moments that I could identify with as a child growing up through school, and as the adult that I am now. I could see moments where people were shining lights of support in my life, and where there were fantastic lows. Yet, there were always people there to support me.

Some were of course, more instrumental than others, and they really touched, moved, and inspired me. Many of these teachers were normal people with normal lives, yet to me, they were anything but "Normal" They were the catalyst in a belief system that saw something in all of us. Each of us has our own story of who that, or these people were in our lives, and it has made a huge contribution to whom we are today.

I often lose sight of that on tough moments or days. Sometimes, when I see things are tough at moments in my life, I always exclaim, "Why do people have to be SO complicated?!"

Then after watching a movie like Mr. Holland's Opus, it dawns on me that we as people really aren't so complicated at all. In fact, we are very simple beings, with very predictable lives. My thoughts on this are:

All people want is to be able to make their own contribution, and be expressed in it. When we don't have the ability or the tools, or we feel that our environment isn't listening or acknowledging us, we then struggle to be heard and appreciated. It is really our worst fear as humans that we aren't appreciated, heard, seen, acknowledged or making a contribution.

Those who are frustrated, angry or resentful have all the negativity that these traits bring from not being fulfilled or appreciated in their lives. When we are happy, positive and we are feeling fulfilled, it is because all of these traits are in perfect alignment on our perception of our contribution as people.

People search and yearn for that connection in a mate, a partner, a friend or someone that they can share these with. We all need someone to understand us, and "Get us" The people in our lives who REALLY "Get Us" are usually called soul mates. They are very rare in this world, and these people come in as a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime. Some of us want to hold on to these beautiful birds, even though they aren't ours to hold on to. We selfishly see how incomplete we feel without them in our lives, yet it remains that people are in our lives for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.

I saw the connection at the ending scene of Mr. Holland's Opus, and I couldn't refrain from shedding a few tears. Not because of who Mr. Holland was to me, but rather who I thought I was being as that person at the end of my life, and being acknowledged for a life of extraordinary contribution.

And in the end, we all see it that way for what we want for ourselves. We are all capable of this too, that's the good news. Some of us have more of our own struggles that keep us down, yet the great people in life find a way to get past that and really live a wonderful life being a contribution, without ever seeing what's in it for them.

And all of this is what makes a movie like Mr. Holland's Opus so great to watch...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gay Marriage and Freedom

You know, it occurs to me that this whole "Breakthrough" from Obama about being the first US President to support same sex marriage is a little like cheering on someone for being in the right. You usually don't get the positive feedback for doing the right thing, simply because it's expected.

Whether you agree with gay marriage or not, is really irrelevant it seems. What it seems to be the issue is containing more of the same control that Americans insist on trying to resist since it's inception as a nation. Considering that the United States of America was formed (in principle) to allow people to live their lives in Freedom, it seems to me that this process is a bunch of lip service that has been going on for over 200 years now.

I could go down the list of the many issues that have been resisted by the majority of the population in US, and looking back it now seems elitist or plain racist.

You can start with freedom of religion, then owning slaves, then freedom of slaves, but they can't vote or own land, hold jobs reserved for whites, or basically live as a "free person" Women were not allowed to vote or hold office until the 1920's or so, and blacks didn't have the same rights as whites in some cases until the 1970's. It seemed that if you were a white male who owned land, and were the right type of Christian, you had every advantage in getting what you want in the United States. Others, not so much...

So this gay marriage issue really will come down to law makers deciding that they have no right whatsoever to determine that it is a bond between 2 people, and not a man and a woman. It will simply be a matter of time until this passes because it is advancing, just as civil liberties advance in the United States. -Slow, but they eventually get there (in a couple hundred years.)

I know there are some people who have learned that homosexuality is wrong and it's against the Bible's teachings. Yet, there was a time when people learned that having slaves was their right, and was just the norm. You could never look back at those times and comprehend what was so because it seems so wrong now. So basically, that's how I think people in 50 years will look back on us now, with this issue of gay marriage. I think they will look back in 50 years and say, "What were you thinkingnot allowing or excluding Gays, and how did you get away with that thinking for so long?" Just the same way that we look at our treatment of Blacks, Asians, and Natives, and other Minorities now.

You'd think that history would give you a sign every once in a while about something like this, yet most people aren't really interested in getting that sign, because it disagrees with their belief system rather than realizing that freedom is not based on your belief system. It is built on the Belief System that every one else has the same belief system, and that every person has the same rights and freedoms REGARDLESS of what they believe.

So if you believe in Freedom, then you can support Gay Marriage, and still be OK with not agreeing with gay marriage. Yet, you believe that they have the right to their life as they choose to live it, even if it doesn't meet your approval.

So therefore, Gay Marriage isn't really the issue. The issue seems to lie within us all resisting Freedom, which is kind of ironic seeing that we fight so many wars over the same projection in the name of Freedom...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sexual Predators and Child Abusers -When is Enough?!

I wonder about the safety of our children and if we are doing enough to protect them.

And I don't mean from the playground, bullies, or the seemingly "normal" threats to our kids. I mean from predators who target our youth.

I've just recently watched former NHL Hockey Star Theo Fleury's movie "Playing with Fire" and it occurs to me that this is a completely preventable problem. In fact, I feel that it's so preventable that I don't understand why it keeps happening.

And it keeps happening...

Until it happens to your own child, nobody seems to care. And then it takes the grief-stricken parent who has probably already faced an amount of confrontation that would break a normal human being, and then they have to lead a charge against a re-occurring fight that our government seems to not want to address.

This fight is simple.

Our Children are off-limits. Period.

Any person found guilty sexually abusing a child under the age of 19 faces the death penalty. I'm not an advocate for the death penalty, however, any person that would want to have their own way with a child deserves to be put down in the same manner that you would treat a dog who attacked a small child. You can't trust them, and you can't teach an old dog new tricks. So you get rid of them, and the example is made really clear. The last thing that any taxpaying Canadian wants to do is pay for the upkeep of a broken toy pedophile in prison merely existing, and not living a life worth living.

I read stories about priests abusing alter boys all the time. Tori Stafford is a little girl that was allegedly raped and murdered because our system failed her. Boy Scouts get abused in the woods away from their families when they should be enjoying their childhood, and not have it be some nightmare that has them left as damaged, tortured victims that end up having their futures robbed from their hands of what was once possible for them. And you can't tell me that there aren't people out there who see stiff like this happen, just like Jerry Sandusky from the Penn State sex scandal was being enabled to abuse boys for decades, and "nobody saw anything"

Listen, we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights so that every person can live a life of freedom and be anything that they want, yet we don't have any measureable policies in place that can protect the simplest things like ensuring that our kids aren't abused or murdered.

That makes me want to hang my head in shame.

It seems that the Government of Canada has a list of priorities a lot deeper than to worry about the safety and well-being of it's innocent and defenseless children.

Because if it were so horrible and unthinkable to touch or abuse a child, it would be a national tragedy when it happened, and it would be a rare event.

Instead, I read dozens of stories like it in the news all day long.

And yet, nobody says or does anything about it...