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Let’s make ‘vapin’ in the boys room’ a thing of the past

By Gerry Chidiac | September 5, 2019

In 1973, the band Brownsville Station released the song Smokin’ in the Boys Room. At the time, nearly half of Canadian adults and teens smoked. Reports had been coming out for years about the dangers of tobacco use but smoking was still seen as a cool thing to do. Over the next several decades, the…

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Giving voice to our concerns and desires validates democracy

By Gerry Chidiac | August 29, 2019

One of the most important tasks I have as a public school educator is empowering my students to take an active role in the Canadian political process. And if I’m going to ask my students to be active citizens, I need to model the desired behaviour. I’ve honestly been very impressed with the responses I’ve…

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Are electric cars really a solution to the climate crisis?

By Gerry Chidiac | August 22, 2019

American actress Alexandra Paul summarized the sentiment of much of the world when she said, “The cars we drive say a lot about us.” The climate crisis also says a lot about us as a society and one of greatest culprits related to that crisis is the automobile. As a result, many people are choosing…

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The essential values of having courage and being kind

By Gerry Chidiac | August 15, 2019

Though The Walt Disney Co. has been criticized for changing traditional fairy tales to make them palatable for modern audiences, sometimes it simply brings the lesson of the legend into very clear focus. A good example is the 2015 live action version of Cinderella starring Lily James, of Downton Abby fame. Cinderella’s birth mother gives…

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Superhero movies teaching us the wrong lessons

By Gerry Chidiac | August 8, 2019

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards once said, “I don’t think rock n’ roll should be analyzed or even thought about deeply.” As much as I admire Mr. Richards as a musician, I can’t say that I agree with him. In fact, as I developed my own thoughts I found myself listening to his band less…

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Questioning government is fundamental to democracy

By Gerry Chidiac | August 1, 2019

Jewish-American songwriter Bob Dylan tells us, “Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.” We put democracy in peril when we equate questioning government policy with being unpatriotic or even racist. This is why the current situation in the United States is so puzzling. They actually established the international standard for good government…

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Compassion and acceptance pave the way for a better life

By Gerry Chidiac | July 18, 2019

Compassionate people are happy people, and compassionate people understand that everyone is simply doing their best. They acknowledge there are those who do rotten things to each other, but we have no idea of the internal torment these individuals struggle with. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t have rules in our society or that…

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As crisis builds on the U.S.-Mexico border, Canadians are silent

By Gerry Chidiac | July 11, 2019

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a concentration camp as, “a place where large numbers of people are kept as prisoners in extremely bad conditions, especially for political reasons.” While no mention of Nazi Germany is made in this definition, names like Dachau and Auschwitz come to mind when we hear this term. How did the world…

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How a journey through hardship can inspire your life

By Gerry Chidiac | July 4, 2019

There’s a medieval legend about an alchemist who discovers how to turn common materials into gold. Of course, we know that adding a piece of the philosopher’s stone to molten lead will not turn it into gold, yet the story provides a beautiful metaphor for life. If we look at the life of any great…

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The Raptors elevated basketball to an art form and lifted us all

By Gerry Chidiac | June 27, 2019

In our age of enormous salaries for professional athletes and overpriced tickets to sporting events, there are many reasons why the Toronto Raptors winning the National Basketball Association championship is worth celebrating. Behind all the hype, the team succeeded because it was built on the solid principles. First and foremost, the Raptors won with tremendous…

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"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."

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."

MLA, Prince George Valemount

"Someone who gets it ... finally!!"

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."

Prince George, BC, Canada

"In this hour of our damaged world, we sorely need people like you to help us heal."

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."

Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands

"I would like to express my appreciation to Gerry Chidiac for all of his wonderful columns! No matter how much the world grinds one down, his words always give me hope and raise my spirits!

Mr. Chidiac’s latest column was on Fred Rogers, of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”. To my fellow Citizen readers, if you have not yet read the column, please do!

No human being deserves to be worshipped! However, Fred Rogers is worthy of our respect, admiration and love. Thank you for reaching out to everyone in such positive and healthy ways!


—Valerie Breathet