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A Champion for Social Enlightenment

Living well in the moment to create the best past and future

By Gerry Chidiac | December 6, 2018

The concept of time is intriguing. We all have a past and we all have a future, yet we can only experience life in the present and that’s but a flash. The present was once the future and it will soon become the past. How then do we seize the moment in order to create both…

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O Tannenbaum symbolizes the entire celebration of Christmas

By Gerry Chidiac | December 5, 2018

The traditional German song O Tannenbaum is often translated as O Christmas Tree. This is only partly true, however. The English version is quite different from the German. The essence of the German song is far more universal. One of the beauties of learning languages is discovering what words and poetry mean to the people…

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Hearing the stories of survivors of abuse with compassion

By Gerry Chidiac | November 29, 2018

Much of the study of genocide has focused on how it happens and what it looks like. This is important but perhaps we need to go further. What do people go through after these crimes have been committed? What happens to children? There are many amazing books written by survivors of genocide: Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search…

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Heal our own pain and the pain of others, and heal the world

By Gerry Chidiac | November 22, 2018

It’s no secret that there’s tremendous pain in the world. What we’re not often aware of is the source of this pain. Not knowing where it’s from, we give into fear and actually make the problem worse. Canadian physician Gabor Mate has devoted his career to understanding why people do terrible things to themselves and…

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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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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