Why can't we seek a world where we rise to the occasion and confront our failings as a society? Why can't we demand better of ourselves and of our communities to create a place where all life is respected? Why can't the ingenuity of the human brain -- and limitlessness of the human heart -- foster a world where hope triumphs over hopelessness?
As a 26-year-old business professional I face very typical problems on a day to day basis, ones that many of you may face. I have to deal with traffic, I have to find parking in downtown Toronto, I have to deal with deadlines. But it wasn't that long ago that any of these trivial issues were not a concern to me as my only burden was finding my next meal. For two years I battled homelessness and my hope was dependant on youth homes and the kindness of strangers.
Parents often think that they have to have an immediate answer or solution at their fingertips, but sometimes all a kid needs is to be heard. When we listen to young people without interrupting, it helps them feel understood and it validates their feelings by making them feel less alone in whatever they may be coping with.
In the world of environmental advocacy, hope can be a scarce commodity. The daily cascade of negative reports about our planet's health can challenge even the most optimistic personality. That's why 24 Hours of Reality, a global event happening today and tomorrow (September 16-17), promises to be so refreshing: it's all about solutions and hope.
The "Uh-oh! Moment" marks a realization, a grasp of a situation marked by despair and anguish. But it's within that grasp that most of the time, you start climbing out of the abyss. Once you're questioning what you have done, you start answering. And once you start answering, you start moving in a new, upward direction.
Over the course of a long baseball season, unforeseeable and unimaginable things happen on a regular basis and what purported experts deem to be inevitable isn't always inevitable. So-called 'sure things' stumble with surprising regularity and even those universally considered to be without hope can rightfully harbour hope.
Where were you on November 22, 1963? For some of you this may be before you time, but for me, I was a 12-year-old living in Edinburgh, Scotland and it is a day I will never forget. And for those of you who have no recall of what happened 50 years ago, it was the day that John F. Kennedy was shot and assassinated.
Barry and I were both 17 when we met. We had just finished high school. I was dealing with my tragedy -- the death of my mother and two younger sisters. Barry was an orphan, responsible for his older brother with special needs. And there we stood, in the "Land of Oz" at the start of the "Yellow Brick Road" -- the beginning of our journey together.
For almost four decades, I did not talk about the plane crash. Instead, I buried the tragedy and any associated feelings of grief as deep down as possible. That was the way tragedies and death were dealt with in the 70s. I was told, directly and indirectly, that the subject was closed, never to be discussed... the subject of death was unmentionable.
How does one trust in life again after experiencing two tragic losses? This is a question that I've asked myself since losing my son to stillbirth after a healthy 9-month pregnancy, followed just 18-months later by the death of my husband, a soldier serving in Afghanistan. How could I ever trust in anything again?
So many awful things have been happening recently around the world. But there are things that we, as individuals, can do to bring back inspiration and hope to the world in small ways. I recently read about a fellow Canadian blogger, Taslim Jaffer, who is doing her own "pay it forward" in a uniquely creative way with her Make-A-Wave Cards. Why not do our part and fill the world with a little bit of hope?
Do bears answer the call of nature in the woods? Are telemarketers annoying? Do police officers lie in court?The answer to each question is an overwhelming YES. Those officers who believe that that the justice system is a game to be won at all costs are simply missing the point. I am happy to report, however, that the days of complete immunity for police officers who play Pinocchio in open court may be over.