‘Be not afraid.’ Why the words of John Paul II still resonate

By Gerry Chidiac | August 29, 2017

There are many dark pages in the history of the 20th century. Caught between the regimes of Hitler and Stalin was the Poland where Karol Wojtyla came of age. In 1978, Wojtyla was named Pope John Paul II. Few outside his country knew who he was, but he immediately began using his influence as a…

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Bending the arc of the moral universe towards justice

By Gerry Chidiac | August 22, 2017

When looking at events in the world today, we can rightly be horrified by the racism and violence we see. In such times, it is important to take a step back and look at the wider scope of history. As Martin Luther King Jr. has quoted, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but…

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Finding grace and hope in the worst of tragedies

By Gerry Chidiac | August 15, 2017

Harold Kushner experienced a parent’s worst nightmare, to see his son Aaron suffer and experience a premature death. Being a rabbi, Kushner turned to his faith to try to understand what he was experiencing but had difficulty finding the answer. As part of his grieving process, he chronicled his journey in a book that has…

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High grades for Canadian students, high praise for their teachers

By Gerry Chidiac | August 8, 2017

A recent article in the BBC referred to Canada as “An Education Superpower”. They put is in the same echelon as countries like Finland and Singapore. The article drew primarily from results of the Programme for International Student Assessment, a study performed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The results are rather surprising,…

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Love is the most powerful force on Earth

By Gerry Chidiac | August 1, 2017

While struggling to survive in a Nazi death camp, psychologist Victor Frankl began thinking of his wife and came to the realization that,”Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which one can aspire.” The ancient Greeks actually distinguished between several kinds of love, including fraternal love and love for all humanity. Perhaps the clearest…

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Becoming our best selves a challenge for each of us

By Gerry Chidiac | July 25, 2017

In the film “The Lion King”, young Simba is visited by the spirit of his father Mufasa who tells him, “You have forgotten who you are … you are more than what you have become.” This is an important message to ponder as we move forward, facing the normal ups and downs of living. We…

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An open and shut case: how the backfire effect closes minds

By Gerry Chidiac | July 18, 2017

In the world today, we see conservative news programs where hosts shout down the opposing views of their guests. We see liberal audiences disrupting and walking out of auditoriums where more right-wing views are presented. We see online arguments that go on ad nauseam with each side getting more and more entrenched, even as legitimate…

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Satisfaction comes with sharing other people’s joy

By Gerry Chidiac | July 11, 2017

Having worked in education for over 30 years, I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people on the planet, and I look forward to continuing my work until I am in my 70s. What is it about what I am doing that gives me such joy? How does one achieve this kind of…

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Charting an inclusive, nurturing future for all Canadians

By Gerry Chidiac | July 4, 2017

As Canada celebrated 150 years as a country, it became very clear that not everyone believed the festivities were justified. While some may have found these actions unpatriotic, our willingness to examine weaknesses is actually one of the keys to our greatness. In her classic book MINDSET, psychologist Carol Dweck explains how a person with…

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Breaking technology’s pernicious grip on our children

By Gerry Chidiac | June 29, 2017

Technology is everywhere. But is it all good for us and – particularly – is it good for our children? The last 50 years have seen tremendous technological advancement. The 1960s television comedy Get Smart featured a mobile phone that the main character wore in his shoe. We laughed because it seemed impossible. Today, 95…

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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