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A Champion for Social Enlightenment

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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Dream big no matter how preposterous

By Gerry Chidiac | September 6, 2018

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…

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How to confront sex abuse in the Catholic church

By Gerry Chidiac | August 30, 2018

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…

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Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reform

By Gerry Chidiac | August 23, 2018

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…

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Polarization is a myth – we just need to break down the barriers

By Gerry Chidiac | August 16, 2018

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…

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Follow the leader: the keys to a legendary coach’s success

By Gerry Chidiac | August 9, 2018

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…

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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