We all need a little lovin’ sometimes!

Those of you who know me well are highly aware of my “peace, love and happiness” hippy nature; the following is a testimony of this fact…

As I was going about my crazy-busy daily business yesterday, I stopped to ask myself what I could do this year to “give back”; I was struggling to find something new and out-of-the-ordinary when I remembered the Free Hugs Campaign.

I stumbled upon a few “Free Hugs” videos a few years ago, and they’ve left quite the mark on me. Juan Mann started this campaign when he needed a hug the most, in an attempt to reach out to humanity. I welcome you to read the full story on the official website: http://www.freehugscampaign.org

As it is mentioned on the homepage of the website, we live in a society that is, to say the least, disconnected. Giving a hug is the most simple gesture, but also one of the most profoundly appreciated; The more I think about it, the more this seems like the perfect “giving back” opportunity. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to orchestrate my own Free Hugs bonanza here, in Montreal, but I’d sure love to try!

I’m convinced that I can get a few people on my crazy boat…

All I need to do is find a good time and location to get this show on the road, and then work my magic to convince a few friends that givin’ a little lovin’ to a whole bunch of people is an awesome idea.

While all of you invisible readers wait for an update, I leave you with a short video that might just inspire you to spread the love, too.

Cheers!

Playing for Change: War/No More Trouble

Simply stellar.

Thumbs up for unity and humanity.

“Where the Hell Is Matt?”

I saw this a few years ago…

It is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

Take It Seriously

I know that this is coming a little late in the day, but here it is anyway; it’s worth it.

Today is Mental Health Day.

Mental illness affects millions, both directly and indirectly, and it is definitely an issue that we must take seriously. I personally struggle with bouts of depression from time to time, and many people in my family, and amongst my friends and acquaintances are touched by this issue in one way or another. Severity varies from individual to individual, but what remains constant the fact that people are struggling and often feel misunderstood, alone or are isolated; a dialogue must be had. Far too many are misunderstood, isolated, harassed, ostracized, criticized, judged, or worse, rejected or victims of violence.

We must work – as a community – to support and encourage those who live with this reality. We must educate the public and improve services and resources for this fragile population. Most importantly, however, we must strive to promote a climate of acceptance and understanding in the global community.

I dedicate my post to anyone who is affected, in any way, shape or form, by mental illness. ❤

The Beauty of my Community

I am, as a white woman, the minority in my community and I love it.

I am surrounded by so many people from so many different places, and I think it’s simply the most beautiful thing in the world. I feel like I am a part of something special when I walk along the streets of my community. Markets, stores, shops and restaurants display an array of cultural and ethnic diversity.

In my apartment building, we have an African family (not sure which country), an Algerian family, two Mexican families, an Indian family, a Haitian family and a Vietnamese couple. I am the only white person in the building.

My elderly Vietnamese neighbours of almost 5 years speak neither English or French, but we smile at each other, wish each other a good day and gesture our way through our small “conversations”. They give us small gifts on special occasions, and the woman sometimes cooks food for us. When their grandchildren come over, they send us little messages expressing their love and gratitude, and we take the opportunity to do the same.

Multi-racial families like mine are far from being the exception here. 95% of the student body in both schools in which I work are from various countries. In addition, not only does my son have friends from different backgrounds, he also speaks fluent Spanish thanks to his wonderful caregiver!

We are so lucky! What a glorious thing to live amongst each other in harmony.

Clearly, there is not one place in the world where inequality does not exist, and this is not to say that my community is perfect. Social issues exist here just as they do everywhere else. I am grateful, however, that my son is exposed to such diversity as it will allow him to understand (perhaps with a little help from his mama) that despite our differences, we are all the same: human beings.