Growing up in a gravely dysfunctional household where coldness was the prevailing sentiment, I turned to animals for unconditional love. Even a mound full of Texas fire ants became friends.
When we began work on Star Trek Into Darkness, we realized it would be released in May 2013, a moment when our nation would have the opportunity and responsibility to make sure we help these post-9/11 veterans transition back to jobs, higher education, or ongoing careers of service.
Was it a major victory that the Boy Scouts of America voted to set an age limit on its discrimination or was it an outrageously offensive compromise?
I thought it would be self-evident that the end of a 103-year-old ban on gay youth in a group that's a cultural touchstone of American life is something to applaud, affirm and even celebrate. Judging by the reaction from some members of the LGBT community, though, it appears I was wrong.
Sometimes there are no magical answers. Sometimes it's just that life is unfair, and some of us get dealt a really shitty hand, while others may not. I wish there was a better explanation than that, a story you could tell your children when they ask why bad things happen to good people. I wish things could be different.
There was another attack to add to the list in the East Village on Monday night. That systematic hatred fuels these crimes is undeniable -- and symptomatic of a growing divide. Gay bashing has flared up many times in New York over the past decade. How could it be that hate crimes are on the rise when our society is becoming progressively more tolerant? What do we, on the winning side of the battle for equality, do in the face of its violent antithesis?
I feel sorry for Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries. All he did was say out loud what the vast majority of clothing lines already seem to be thinking and practicing. We can, and should, help young people to realize that there are many profound satisfactions to be had in life that do not rely on achieving a certain appearance or level of popularity (a fact that becomes comfortingly obvious as we age, yet is often difficult to grasp in high school). But we shouldn't blame A&F for being honest enough to articulate an omnipresent elitist marketing strategy no one else wants to own up to. We are, after all, the ones that make such strategies pay off.
I know intimately the importance of standing in one's territory, freely practicing our ceremonies at our sacred places, harvesting our foods, and telling our children their stories of creation in the exact spot creation happened and is happening. I know that living as Anishinaabe is one of the most important things we can do, on reserve, off reserve, in the middle of the bush or in the middle of the city. So I know that the reclamation of PKOLS is an extraordinarily important act for the SȾÁUTW, Songhees and the WSÁNEĆ because it physically connects them to a powerful place, alive with story, and breathing with history.
Imagine if your city government decided to take a public vote to determine whether you and your family members should have access to health care. Based on what the public decides about your mother and her illness, and not what her doctors think, your city government says it will pass a bylaw that prevents her and others in her situation from receiving that treatment in their home community. Preposterous and unreasonable? Absolutely.
Leslie Bennett is an intelligent, open-minded and highly-accomplished businesswoman who has fought the good fight with bipolar I -- and is now thriving. At one point, because of Bennett's manic episode, she had convinced herself that the people coming to visit her were not her family, but clones of them.
It has only been a couple weeks since the surgery, a double mastectomy, and my body is still in recovery mode. On some mornings, I can hear Nate playing downstairs with his dad and I feel my heart swell with happiness. "How lucky I am to be a part of this family," I think. On other mornings, on those when the pain is bad, I think how sad it is that I am in this bed and missing out on the cuteness that is surely happening downstairs. My chest is sore, but mostly it is numb. Watching Nate run and play and laugh reminds me that the surgery may have (temporarily) broken my body, but it certainly did not touch my heart, nor my capacity to feel love.
Salah Bachir is a shining example of what one person can do. He started humbly, with a commitment to social justice causes. Although it might appear that money is at the root of successful giving, I'd suggest that each of us has many ways we can give.
We failed. Active Healthy Kids Canada put out their annual report card, and as a nation, we failed. We need to accept that we have failed. Once we accept it, we now need to decide to get back to living a life built on a desire to be healthy.
We would wager citizens of every country think health care could be improved. However, we would also bet a plane ticket to someone's favourite summer getaway that Canadians will find countries with universal health care, such as Australia, Japan, or favourite tourist destinations in Europe, have far better health care than we do. That's because their citizens and their governments have no hang-ups about the three boogeymen of upfront fees, "private" insurance, and private delivery. They are also nations with progressive, sensible health care practices that could help improve Canada's health care system.
In my nightmares, I can't get to my children. The parents of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma are living that nightmare.
Though Shodo laughingly dismisses any comparisons to Ghandi or King, she believes that most of us understand that we are in trouble. We may not be scientists, but we see and hear the scientists' warnings that our actions are quickly pushing the climate out of balance.