Compassion and acceptance pave the way for a better life

By Gerry Chidiac | July 18, 2019

Compassionate people are happy people, and compassionate people understand that everyone is simply doing their best. They acknowledge there are those who do rotten things to each other, but we have no idea of the internal torment these individuals struggle with. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t have rules in our society or that…

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As crisis builds on the U.S.-Mexico border, Canadians are silent

By Gerry Chidiac | July 11, 2019

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a concentration camp as, “a place where large numbers of people are kept as prisoners in extremely bad conditions, especially for political reasons.” While no mention of Nazi Germany is made in this definition, names like Dachau and Auschwitz come to mind when we hear this term. How did the world…

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How a journey through hardship can inspire your life

By Gerry Chidiac | July 4, 2019

There’s a medieval legend about an alchemist who discovers how to turn common materials into gold. Of course, we know that adding a piece of the philosopher’s stone to molten lead will not turn it into gold, yet the story provides a beautiful metaphor for life. If we look at the life of any great…

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The Raptors elevated basketball to an art form and lifted us all

By Gerry Chidiac | June 27, 2019

In our age of enormous salaries for professional athletes and overpriced tickets to sporting events, there are many reasons why the Toronto Raptors winning the National Basketball Association championship is worth celebrating. Behind all the hype, the team succeeded because it was built on the solid principles. First and foremost, the Raptors won with tremendous…

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Pay teachers well and classroom results will follow

By Gerry Chidiac | June 20, 2019

Canadian schools are among the best in the world, and B.C. schools are arguably the best in Canada. This is so much the case that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is studying our educational system to see how we’re achieving such exceptional results. It’s no surprise then that Canadian teachers are among…

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Human spirit has the strength to tear down walls

By Gerry Chidiac | June 13, 2019

The most significant global event of my lifetime has been the fall of the Berlin Wall. It not only changed the geopolitical climate we live in, it also demonstrated the power of the human spirit. As a teacher, I often bring up this event. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently spoke to the graduates of Harvard…

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If we’re laughing together, perhaps we can bridge the gap

By Gerry Chidiac | June 6, 2019

Sometimes you need to risk appearing foolish to speak a very deep truth. As a person of Middle Eastern ethnicity, I’ve long felt a tie to all peoples of that area of the world. As I watch the news, I see a horrible conflict between the Christians, Muslims and Jews of this region. Perhaps it’s…

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Pro-life, pro-choice? Prove it

By Gerry Chidiac | May 30, 2019

There’s perhaps no more contentious topic of discussion in Canada than abortion. Even Canadian lawmakers are hesitant to debate the subject. As a high school teacher of a class called Social Justice 12, I can’t ignore the topic. And my code of ethics requires that I facilitate legitimate research and respectful discussion, all the while…

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If you stay true to certain ideals, life sorts itself out

By Gerry Chidiac | May 23, 2019

We all face challenges, times when we feel like the bottom has fallen out and nothing makes sense. While it may be tempting to give in to vengeful thoughts and actions, teachings developed in every culture point to the same principles. As we live by these ideals, life finds a way of sorting itself out.…

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The truth always comes out and truth liberates

By Gerry Chidiac | May 16, 2019

Those who advocate for human rights are often frustrated when crimes committed by those in power carry no apparent consequence. We need to remember, however, that truth never disappears. Roughly 100 years ago, Dr. Peter Bryce was commissioned by the Department of Indian Affairs to assess the health conditions at residential schools across Canada. What…

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WHAT READERS SAY

KIND WORDS FROM MY LOVELY READERS

"I get constant feedback from readers who look forward to hearing from you with some inspirational words in the midst of the often troubling news of the day."

— NEIL GODBOUT
Editor, Prince George Citizen

"Thank you, Gerry Chidiac, I have read and appreciate your columns. We don't always agree, but they often cause me to reflect and consider a different prespective than I might have."

— SHIRLEY BOND
MLA, Prince George Valemount

"Someone who gets it ... finally!!"

— JOSE BAUTISTA
Toronto Blue Jays

"This letter is my attempt to express my gratitude and appreciation for Gerry Chidiac's column Lessons in Learning. I have experienced major upheaval in my life this past year with much still to do yet and I regularly receive inspiration and comforts from what he writes. I feel that he certainly deserves to know how much he is helping at least one person. Thank you, Gerry, for sharing your wonderful wisdom."

— LAURA WEBSTER
Prince George, BC, Canada

"In this hour of our damaged world, we sorely need people like you to help us heal."

— LILLIAN NEMETZ
Holocaust Survivor, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

"I appreciate your work as a high school teacher and as a writer. Your civic engagement and your ability to share your voice with others is an admirable talent."

— ELIZABETH MAY, OC MP
Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands

"I would like to express my appreciation to Gerry Chidiac for all of his wonderful columns! No matter how much the world grinds one down, his words always give me hope and raise my spirits!

Mr. Chidiac’s latest column was on Fred Rogers, of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”. To my fellow Citizen readers, if you have not yet read the column, please do!

No human being deserves to be worshipped! However, Fred Rogers is worthy of our respect, admiration and love. Thank you for reaching out to everyone in such positive and healthy ways!

"

—Valerie Breathet