Cafe Privilege or Why I Don’t Trust White Women Who Don’t Order Coffee When We’re Meeting at a Cafe – A Poem

Blogger I Do Run uses her blog to share her running experiences and also her poems. This poem should be shared far and wide. Those of us who live with privilege by accident of birth need to be reminded of the message it conveys.

I Do Run

You had arrived first

Patiently waiting for me

Our meeting began

But you hadn’t ordered coffee

I was confused

Since I knew the score

Without paying the price

They ask you to leave the store

But you sat and you talked

That’s when it got scary.

You exclaimed, “I don’t see colour”

That it wasn’t a worry

I should have known

Right then and there

To keep my mouth shut

I shouldn’t have cared to share

But I took a chance

And brought up the notion

That your ability to sit without buying a thing

Was because of your white complexion

Your demeanor, indignant

And your voice, like ice

“Don’t call me a racist”, you said

“That isn’t nice!”

I never called you that

I began to protest

I’m just pointing out this double standard

To get it off my chest

But you didn’t see

The privilege that you wore

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Thoughts on women in leadership – Part II

Obviously, I knew when I wrote my blog post ‘Thoughts on women in leadership – Part I’ that there was more to the story. That’s why I included “Part I” in the title! But I have to admit that I couldn’t have foretold the event that occurred in Canada last week that propelled me to dive into Part II. I’m afraid I’ve discovered more red flags than sage advice this past week in navigating the rough terrain of standing your ground as a woman – at least in the worlds of politics and technology. Hopefully, when I’m ready to tackle Part III I’ll find more encouraging supporting materials. Here’s hoping. We need nurturing, empowering environments in which our most capable women – and men – can thrive and find success in leadership roles. The examples I have been reading about this past week do not fit that definition.

Those readers who live in Canada will know what I am referring to: the resignation of MP Jody Wilson-Raybould from Trudeau’s Cabinet. They will also know that Jody Wilson-Raybould was widely regarded as a smart, capable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and then moved to Minister of Veterans Affairs in a recent Cabinet shuffle. They will know that Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first indigenous Minister of Justice, brought passion, determination, and solid experience as a prosecutor and as a First Nations’ leader to the position. Continue reading

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And the folly of governments keeps on marching along

In perusing our overflowing bookshelves for something to read last weekend, I happened to pull out Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly, an old goldie from 1984. Oh my goodness, talk about the old saying, “History has a tendency to repeat itself.”

The very first paragraph of the first chapter, entitled “Pursuit of Policy Contrary to Self-interest”, speaks to a truism that you’d think we’d all be used to by now:

“A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests. Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government than of almost any other human activity. In this sphere, wisdom, which may be defined as the exercise of judgment acting on experience, common sense and available information, is less operative and more frustrated than it should be. Why do holders of higher office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests? Why does intelligent mental process seem so often not to function?” Continue reading

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SAY IT AGAIN: managing chronic pain

If you or a friend or loved one lives with chronic pain or PTSD, you might find this blog post from a fellow sufferer of interest. The pharmas undoubtedly don’t rank meditation high on their list of recommendations for pain management, so it is not likely to be on the radar screen for most doctors.

Tea and Toast with Kindness

I’ve mentioned, many times, how disappointed I am in the response to the “opioid crisis”.  The only thing that has been done is what has been done before:  Involving to a greater degree (and funding) law enforcement (not proven helpful) and being the watchdog over healthcare providers and legitimate chronic pain clients.  Nothing helpful, nothing progressive, nothing new.

Still, i sing my song.  IF every chronic pain client, on being prescribed pain medication by their healthcare provider, had the functioning of that medication and their brain/bodies explained to them, it won’t be a solution for everyone but it will mean more informed choices.  I don’t mean by having side effects/allergic reactions explained – that’s not it at all.  I mean the healthcare provider gives the client the basic layman’s talk on how your brain works and what this medication does and does not do in response to pain.

I was…

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When is a credit not really a credit? Just ask Air Canada

It’s a sad day when grandparents have to cancel their planned flights to spend Christmas with their kids and grandkids, but that’s what we had to do when we both came down with the cold to end all colds in December. One nice thing that came out of our call to Air Canada was that the man taking our call sympathized with our plight and told us that we’d have a flight credit recorded on our account that we could use for a future flight. The credit just had to be used within a year of the issuing of our tickets. Given that most Canadians have a love-hate relationship with our only national airline (a near monopoly, especially outside the major cities), this reassurance definitely put us closer to the “love” side of the equation. At that point in time.

Yesterday we made the decision to visit one of our sons and other family members in Toronto over Easter. It would be a less complicated ticket than our Christmas ticket, just Fredericton – Toronto –Fredericton instead of Fredericton – Ottawa – Toronto – Fredericton. With a little luck, the credit from Christmas would cover the new ticket. Right. Sure. Continue reading

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If you’ve found the path you were meant to follow …

Be exactly who you’re meant to be. What a compelling concept.

A thought-provoking poem by Steve Taylor, shared in Barry Hopewell’s blog “I can’t believe it!” .

I can't believe it!

Here’s another poem by Steve Taylor – his take on the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling, ‘If.’ According to Steve, it’s a reflection on the meaning of success. It’s also a profound meditation on the meaning of life and where true contentment lies.

If

If you can find out who you really are
beneath the habits and opinions that you’ve absorbed
and the instructions that you unthinkingly follow –

If you can distinguish the deep impulses of your soul
from the shallow desires of your ego
and let streams of thought pass through your mind
without latching on or listening –

If you can sense the sun of your true self
behind layers of cloudy concepts and constructs
and keep your mind open and clear
so that soul-force shines through every action of your life –

then that’s all you ever need to achieve.

There’s no need to search…

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In praise of the next generation – and the newest generation

I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to watch many, many young people become responsible, engaging, and impressive adults.  I’ve experienced this with 2 sons, 21 nieces and nephews, children of our friends, and literally hundreds of my students over 30 years as a university professor.  I can say without reservation that our future is in good hands with the next generation.  They are making a difference in every facet of our economy.  Some have started their own companies, which blows my mind.  Others are IT professionals, teachers, civil servants, health care providers, lawyers, managers, editors, fashion consultants, environmentalists, international development workers, fund raisers, or working in a wide range of service industries.  They are following their passions and exploring new ones.  They run, cycle, travel, participate in music, coach and play in sports teams, learn new languages, get involved in their communities, contribute to charities, and, without even thinking about it, help make the world a better place. Continue reading

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