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A Champion for Social Enlightenment

The arc of the moral universe will bend toward justice

By Gerry Chidiac | November 15, 2018

Nov. 9 marked 80 years since Kristallnacht, loosely translated as “the Night of the Broken Glass.” On this horrendous night, rampaging Nazis destroyed Jewish businesses, synagogues, homes and other properties in what was then German territory. There were many deaths and arrests of innocent people in this precursor to the Holocaust. It would nice to…

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Sport can unite people and bring about change

By Gerry Chidiac | November 8, 2018

Former South African president Nelson Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world.” This may seem a preposterous statement when we look at the greed, corruption and division that often makes the headlines in the world of sport. We read of doping scandals, owners not taking responsibility for the safety of their players…

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Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?

By Gerry Chidiac | November 1, 2018

In the early 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human response. Though the result and ethics of his experiment have been questioned, his findings continue to cause us to ponder what each of us would do if we had to choose between following directions and showing…

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We have power – if we’re willing to wield it

By Gerry Chidiac | October 25, 2018

Watching corporate-sponsored mainstream news can be confusing and frustrating. I have great difficulty sitting through report after report about Russia tampering in U.S. elections. Why is this news? What did they stand to gain? Haven’t the Americans been tampering in elections in other countries for generations? Though millions accept the nonsensical issues that dominate the…

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The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical tradition

By Gerry Chidiac | October 18, 2018

Religion can provide guiding principles for a meaningful life, yet few concepts have been more divisive in human history. Seeing the tensions of the first half of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a deeply spiritual man, came to the following conclusion: “One should accept the faith into which one was born, but seek always…

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Compassion and tenderness can overcome evil

By Gerry Chidiac | October 11, 2018

When we read the newspaper or watch our news feeds, we learn about people doing horrendous things to each other. If we allowed ourselves, we could become inundated with evidence of our inherent inhumanity. It then becomes very easy to conclude that evil people walk among us and that something drastic needs to be done…

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Humans are not designed to stagnate

By Gerry Chidiac | October 4, 2018

“Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still,” popular Zen master Leo Babauta tells us. Many in our society believe that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and once we reach it, life becomes easy. Others believe that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We’re…

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Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives

By Gerry Chidiac | September 27, 2018

“Sometimes the medicine we need most comes from remembering who we were so we can reconcile it against who we wish to become,” writes Canadian poet Shane Koyczan. As we study the residential school system and its impact, it’s very important to remember that it wasn’t the fault of 21st century Canadians. It’s a part…

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Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanity

By Gerry Chidiac | September 21, 2018

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with the desire to alleviate it.” What we rarely consider, however, is that compassion is a tremendous source of strength. The people who have shown the greatest compassion in our world are among the most powerful and influential. The Book of Joy is a…

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If I don’t want to be the problem, how do I become the solution?

By Gerry Chidiac | September 13, 2018

During my rebellious teen years, I listened to an incredible band from Detroit (the Motor City) called MC5. On one of their live albums, recorded in the late 1960s, they made a statement that struck me and has never left me: “Brothers and sisters, the time has come for each and every one of you…

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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