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…Read More
“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…Read More
“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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
Nineteenth-century British writer Eliza Tabor said, “Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens it, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” Disappointment is a reality in the life of every person, yet far too often we look upon it as failure. If we apply for a job and…Read More
In the song Sympathy for the Devil, the Rolling Stones repeat several times, “Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name. But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.” In essence, the Stones are talking about the nature of evil and our relation to it. We see it but we often don’t…Read More
In a recent address on proportional representation (PR), Guy Giorno, one of Stephen Harper’s former strategists, said, “The unassailable moral high ground we (supporters of PR) hold is the people and a result that fairly reflects their will.” This caused me to pause and reflect. I’ve long been a supporter of PR and now I…Read More
American actor Alan Alda recently said, “I’m not really listening unless I’m willing to be changed by the other person.” This is a powerful statement and one that could easily be misinterpreted. Alda has created a podcast called Clear + Vivid where he discusses using communication to improve understanding between people. In this context, he’s not talking…Read More
Mike Krzyzewski said, “When a leader takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes, he not only sets a good example, he shows a healthy respect for people on his team.” Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, has been the men’s head basketball coach at Duke University in North Carolina since 1980. He has more…Read More
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."
"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."
"Someone who gets it ... finally!!"
"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."
"In this hour of our damaged world, we sorely need people like you to help us heal."
"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."