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!

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“It Gets Better Canada”: Stop the Bullying

A friend of mine shared this with me, and I thought I would share it with whomever might find a moment to read my blog. It’s really  important to me to spread love, awareness and compassion.

As much as we have made great strides in accepting the LGBT community and the wonderful human beings within it, we still have SO much work to do. It isn’t because someone might decide to “come out” that they are completely liberated. As we know from the series of suicides in recent months, life can sometimes become unbearable for someone who is perceived to deviate from the norm. Kids, teens and even adults continue to suffer at the hands of some painfuly hurtful people, groups and communities.

We must speak out against the bullying and the hateful acts committed against LGBT youth and adults. We must get together and fight for their fundamental human rights, as well as support and encourage them through their own processes and road to self-acceptance.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/yahoocanada/101104/canada/canadian_video_helps_gay_teens_deal_with_homophobia

Playing for Change: War/No More Trouble

Simply stellar.

Thumbs up for unity and humanity.

Outrageously Disturbing!

Oh, the GALL!!!

I didn’t have the time to write about this outrageous and appalling story when it first came out, but here it is…

Apparently, two people – who are clearly missing a history lesson, cultural sensitivity, half a brain and some overall humanity- thought it would be a great idea to dress up in the most offensive costume EVER for Halloween. Two men went to a Royal Canadian Legion Halloween party in Eastern Ontario dressed as a KKK member (in full-out KKK attire and with a confederate flag tied around his neck) holding a black man (a white man in black face paint) by a noose!

WHAT?!!!!!

Wait! It gets worse!

They won first place in the Legion’s costume contest! People actually condoned this!!!!

According to some guests at the Legion, few walked out and no one spoke out against this obscenity of monstrous proportions.

What’s even more alarming is that the KKK guy’s son was ranting about how it’s Halloween and about the idea that people should be free to dress how they please. He added that he didn’t understand why his father was under so much fire, how he really didn’t see the big deal in dressing up like this and that it was “just a costume”.

Really?!

How sad is this? This is so appalling and disturbing that it should be considered a hate crime!

The president of the Legion issued an apology, the day after the event, stating that this behaviour was not promoted or condoned by the members of the Legion and that it does not reflect the overall values and beliefs of the Legion itself. Well, in my humble opinion, there’s a load of B/S if you ever had one! If it really didn’t reflect some underlying beliefs (including those of the Legion’s members – who were silent and willing bystanders), those held responsible for the party would have never allowed this pair through the doors, much less awarded them the FIRST PRIZE in the costume contest!

Granted, many individuals in the community in question are as outraged as I am; the fact remains, however, that no one had the cojones (or worse, the desire) to speak out against this disturbing and hateful act.

This is simply atrocious and abominable.

Alas, as sad as this situation may be, let us use it as a lesson.

We need to invest more time, energy and money into educating the general public and creating more awareness of cultural issues. It is imperative for us to promote more cultural sensitivity and to instill a climate of peace, kindness and compassion in ourselves, our homes, our communities and our nations in order for any harmony amongst our global population to be possible.

It all begins with each and every one of us.

Links to the story:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/kkk-costume-at-legion-halloween-party-disgusts-many-in-ontario-town/article1783090/

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/costume+causes+outrage+during+Ontario+Legion+contest/3767227/story.html

“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. ❤

“Tolerance”: A Word I Don’t Tolerate

It never fails. Every time I converse with someone about inequality in the world, they always use the word “tolerance” to express how we should go about relating to one another.

Now, I don’t disagree that we must learn about each other and learn to live amongst each other in peace and harmony; this is not what I’m saying. I take issue with the word itself.

Who ever wants to be “tolerated“?

The use of this word supposes that a bigger, more powerful, dominant group, makes an effort to tolerate a minority group or someone of “lesser” value, so to speak. The word itself, to me, embodies the very definition of inequality. When I hear the word “tolerance”, I hear: “Oh, look at us! How good we are to put up with you when we really don’t have to. We’re doing you a favour by making a conscious choice not to run you to the ground. You’re so lucky to have us “tolerate” you.”

O.K., I might push the envelope a little, but I think you get the point.

Sure! Some might argue that this is a question of semantics, and that it really is not a big deal, but it makes me cringe.

I tolerate you.” Can you hear the condescension in that?

Let’s not teach “tolerance”. Let’s teach acceptance.

There is a BIG difference between the two.

“I accept you.” – Now THAT is nice, isn’t it?

🙂

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