A simple smile can fight loneliness

Anyone who has ever felt a tinge of loneliness (which is most of us), knows it is not a nice feeling. It is a danger that many face, in particular as we become elderly and have less family around. Below is a segment from a radio show in Newfoundland, in which a lady describes how she practices going out of her way to connect and smile with folks, especially the elderly. It can help people and feels good to do. I believe in Canada, we are generally pretty good at being polite and engaging, and looking after each other, but this is a nice reminder that we can be compassionate and make someone feel better, and feel better ourselves, wth the simple act of a smile.

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My new year’s wish: unconditional love

Happy New Year! Another year has passed and we all have great hopes for the future. There is no point in having regrets; they are like pulling your hand out of the passing river; the ripples have had their affect and we have all moved on. The water is constantly flowing and so are we in the river of life. What we can control is the compassion we show towards others; it will make others happy and us as well. May you all experience and give unconditional love in the coming year; we all have value and our own path in life, and each fulfil our destiny in a unique way; may you have a fulfilling and joy-filled destiny, and ignore the things that detract from it.

The people are the police: Building trust with Aboriginal communities in contemporary Canadian society Robert Chrismas

Canadian Public Administration vol. 55, no. 3 (September) p. 451–70.

Full article is here: 2012 Canadian Public Administration, The people are the police

Abstract:

Policing is an important element in the spectrum of services that impact living conditions, quality of life and social justice for Aboriginal communities. The ultimate policing goal should be to contribute to the realization of societies with safe living conditions and equal access to opportunities, health and happiness. In Canada, Aboriginal peoples were marginalized by colonization, becoming victims of social injustice whose significant effects on communities are felt to this day. This article explores how trust can be regained through improved communication, community engagement and empowerment. Trust building is critical for police and communities to move forward together. Truth telling, transparency and restorative justice may allow police agencies to align with the values of Aboriginal communities, support citizen empowerment, and better carry out the public will.

It’s 4AM and -44C with windchill; here are three men huddled in the bus shack by City Hall

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With the windchill, it’s -44C (-47F) and this is the scene outside City Hall at 4AM this morning, the day before New Year’s eve. Three men huddled in a bus shack, because it is enclosed and blocks the wind. With shaking hands, one doesn’t even have gloves, they eagerly reach out as Barb and Chelsea offer them a hot bowl of soup and a coffee. Surprisingly, they are joking around, “hey could I get a foot massage, naaa” says one young man with big a smirk on his face. A sense of humour is probably the best defence against the unforgiving elements. It’s day 33 of our 4AM coffee run and it might be time to reassess, as the last couple of days we only found a few people downtown. There are still lots of people running around, but most of the regulars are missing and even the changing face of homelessness has diminished substantially. Speculating that increased holiday spirit in combination with the dangerously cold temperatures has resulted in more people either taking folks in or even the die-hard street folks seeking refuge. Winnipeg’s shelters, and the wonderful people who work at them have also taken up the slack, seemingly taking more folks in. Winnipeg’s culture of compassion and care is tangible in these conditions; humanity matters.