Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

I am grateful, most days, for many things.  On the days I’m not, I’m grateful for those around me who remind me that I should be grateful. At the moment,  I’m especially grateful for one of my readers who inspired this post. She commented on Don’t Forget The Small Stuff: “Gratitude is an attitude worth cultivating”. I couldn’t agree more.

I like the word cultivating. It makes me think of spring and of plants. Plants are amazing and simple creatures. They have very little and require even less. And yet, they are so grateful. When they get what they need in terms of water and sunshine, to show their gratitude, they grow up, they grow green, and some of them produce beautiful colors.

So what about us? We spend so much time worried about what we don’t have, who we aren’t, and what we can’t do. What about all the things we have, that are right in front of us, for which we should be grateful? We all need to work on growing an attitude of gratitude and turning it into a way of life. Start every day by being grateful for who you are at that moment and where you are in your own life.

Consider this: those of us who are extremely fortunate (I consider myself to be a part of this group) get to wake up next to our best friend every morning, in a safe and warm house, and spend the day doing something we love. Small considerations, perhaps… even taken for granted on a regular basis. But there are so many who are not as fortunate.

Never mind that you don’t have the biggest house or the smallest waist line. Forget wishing for the fattest bank account or the skinniest jeans.  You are you. You have life. Live in the ‘present’ – that is a gift in itself.

Be grateful to have your life and to live your life, just as it is. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.


Read Full Post »

The Olympics been in full swing now for a little over a week and I am as excited and proud as the next Canadian, watching events day after day thanks to the miracle of television.

This year, with the Olympics in Canada, it seems as though all you hear is the idea of Canada “Own(ing) the Podium”.  As a competitive athlete for many years, a coach for several years, and a sports enthusiast for my whole life, I wholeheartedly disagree. I understand that the Olympics are about competition and that of course, there can only be 3 champions in each event, on any given day. But what about the athletes who train their whole lives, go to the Olympics, and happen to have a bad day? They are still there, representing our country. We should be so proud of them – winners, personal best achievers, and competitors alike.

Case in point: Mellisa Hollingsworth.  After she lost a skeleton race in which she was expected be on the podium, the interviewer put her on national television, crying.  It was an embarrassment; to see the media almost berate her for her loss, asking her questions like: “How do you feel ?” Seriously. How do you THINK she feels?! Unbelievable. On behalf of media outlets everywhere, to Mellisa and all our Canadian athletes; I am sorry for our behavior towards you. We, the real Canadian fans, are proud of you. All of you.

At least our athletes are there. At least our athletes are representing our country honorably and elegantly. Let’s be proud of who we are and of what it means to be Canadian. Let’s celebrate the personal bests being achieved. Let’s celebrate the victories over injuries which have allowed the athletes just to compete. Let’s celebrate the stories of our athletes who are doing their best.  Let’s celebrate the families who have sacrificed and supported to get their sons/daughters there. Let’s celebrate the spirit of the games.

The Olympic spirit is best expressed in the Olympic Creed: The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

The Canadian media would do well to remember this.

Go Canada Go. I am, and will always be, proud.

Read Full Post »

Why do people prefer to send text messages or emails, devoid of true emotion and connection? Have we become such a text-based culture that the words and symbols on-screen now mean more to us than words through a phone line?

Our past is littered with great orators, who moved people to tears or called them to action with only their voices.  I have my doubts of the effectiveness of Rev. Martin Luther King starting an email campaign, pleading for justice, or of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, sending the troops a text message urging them to fight for “victory — at all costs”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan and user of text messages.  But nothing beats vocalization. There are no printed words or symbols that mean the same as someone’s voice saying “I love you”. I cannot imagine never exchanging another word with my friends or loved ones. The thought of it leaves me feeling empty and alone.

So next time you promise to TTYL – do it. Pick up the phone and make a real connection.  Just say.

Read Full Post »