The 215 and other atrocities…

It seems like every time I turn around, there’s more and more bad news. And the thing is, the bad news goes from bad to worse.

The discovery of the bodies of 215 children buried on residential school grounds is so disgustingly heart-wrenching– it’s taken me this long to process. I can’t even imagine what the Indigenous populations are feeling right now – and my whole heart goes out to them.

Hearing this news angered me too – on what planet were people living to think that this was justifiable behaviour? And are we not seeing the very same in other places today? In 2021, a good portion of our Indigenous population doesn’t have clean water to drink. Would you tolerate that in your communities? There would be international outcry if the rights of the “non-BIPOC majority” were not being met.

I’m sickened to think that people of a certain faith group, who claimed to follow the teachings of their holy book, would invoke such incredulous and grotesque conduct towards people who looked nothing like them. (I understand that those people are not representative of the Catholic whole, the Catholics I have met are indeed nothing like that. )

It’s taken two whole years for Canada to finally have movement on the Truth and Reconciliation committee. Two years!! I suppose we should consider that lightning speed given that people are still under a long-term boil water advisory!

I think the real atrocity here is that there has been silence from the Catholic Church on this issue. Even when pressed by world leaders to adapt to changing times, the Catholic church will recognize people of differing sexual orientations, but won’t admit to cultural genocide. Should this be surprising in light of how many of its pedophilic-oriented bishops and archbishops were promoted rather than jailed?

Is it really surprising that Israel is getting away with murder because they have aligned themselves with the most Non-Bipoc oriented of allies? The U.S. congress hated having a black president so much, that they forgot who elected them and made it their mandate to get rid of him no matter what.


The saddest thing is that all this bad news is deafening the wonderful things that are happening in the world. Clean energy tech and organizations are skyrocketing. People in Africa, India and parts of Asia are “re-greening” desert areas! We are learning how to fish and farm responsibly – and repair the environment at the same time. People have remembered their humanity.

One day, I would like to turn on the news and see more good than bad. We can do it people — there is hope for us yet!


Peace and love

Palestine

and the reckoning of past institutional hatred:

I’m so tired of lecturing to the world. I’m tired of giving advice and yes, even a little tired of speaking truth to power.

W(hy) T.F. is it so hard for us as human beings to treat other human beings as human beings?

When something like a pandemic happens, or incredibly difficult social strife occurs, we learn a lot about peoples’ behaviours. Those of us who chose to wear masks and abide by governmental health orders had to square off daily, against those who just don’t give a damn. Why was that necessary?

Your rights are your rights yes, just as my rights are mine. When you do something stupid, you remove the agency which governs our lives. And by extension, my right to protect myself from you.

Much in the same way that Israel is doing to Palestine. which brings me to the “reckoning of past institutional behaviour.” How do we condemn this apartheid when Saudi Arabia is basically doing the same thing in Yemen? Where is your moral outrage for them? For the Rohingya or the Uighurs? The Yazidis, the Syrians, the Lebanese, the Afghanis, et al?

There doesn’t seem to be a country on this beautiful, struggling planet that has “gotten it right.” If there is one, please do correct me. What I mean by getting it right, is treating each of citizens, regardless of race, colour, creed, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, as human beings. One that doesn’t rely on preferential treatment based on institutionalized gender preference. Indeed, that is the larger problem. Women, on the whole, prefer dialogue to war.

Hateful words, behaviours and attitudes are taught. Sadly, mostly at home. Children do not go to school to be taught hatred. In fact, most have to be “untaught.” The deconstruction of home-taught hatred is a hard battle to fight, but so damned worth it!

There is no planet B. There is no superior race coming to save us. Trust me, there’s no chance of that. We blew that the moment we made war a method of behaviour and discrimination a way of life.

Palestine needs saving. And Israel needs to give their land back. That’s all there is to it. They are long-lost cousins who need to forgive each other, love each other and live in harmony. That may be a pipe dream, but it’s also it a fact.

There is a reckoning that is happening here; for all the ways in which we have harmed each other, the universe is responding. The earth is responding. And now, so are all the communities who have been oppressed, suppressed, depressed and recessed into marginalization. You can’t keep good people down for very long.

You see, ethnic communities teach their children about what not to do around “white people.” We grow up being taught “learn the system, beat the system.” because “the system” was not designed for our success. Ironically, Israel has done this beautifully. It’s like when two people who are attracted to each other meet and get to know each other. One of them says to the other “this is what hurt me in the past.” Then the other turns around and does exactly what hurt the first one, but does it in a spectacularly evil fashion. “Learn the system, beat the system.”

Behaviour is taught.

Israel has learned a great deal, and the Palestinians have no choice but to live in fear of a short-sighted Hamas and hate-filled Israelis. From whence does strength come when strength is always being tested?

So you see, as tired as I am, I will keep “getting into good trouble.” And I will keep deconstructing unnecessary behaviour. I just need your help to do so. Will you step up?

Time’s Up!

Time is Up on…

Racial inequality

Blatant Racism

Sexism

Gender based racism and inequality

Inequality based on colour of skin

Systemic and institutionalized discrimination.

Black Lives Matter because we are one race, one human family.
If one of us is discriminated against, it is a crime against all of us.


“I am not my sister’s keeper. I am my sister.”
(Iyanla Vanzant)

Time is up. And caring is sharing.  So if you care, share.

peace out.

#BLM #OneRace

 

 

 

Thoughts and questions on Covid-19

Hello human family!

Lately, our strange and unique world has seen some great challenges.  So many thoughts and questions have been running through my mind – and I am sure that it’s the same for many of you.

I’ve been thinking of the families who have lost loved ones due to the corona virus and it’s got me thinking about the adage, “When an old person dies, he takes a library with him.”  How many libraries have been lost in the last few months because of one little, yet incredulously powerful virus?  My heart goes out to all of you…

Yet, this sheds an astonishing light on how poorly we treat the most vulnerable people in our societies. It’s almost as though, once people reach a certain age, we “put them away” in places that could not possibly bring them comfort, which, ironically, makes them more vulnerable.

I never thought that our seniors could be so negligently and thoughtlessly ignored,  even though people are being paid to attend to their needs.   I never thought that doctors, nurses, EMTs, hospital staff, porters, food servers, janitors, cleaning staff would be even more vulnerable than the patients streaming in to hospitals.

I never thought I’d be a cheering fan of truckers, but as long as they are delivering the food to our grocery stores and supermarkets, I’ll continue cheering them on.   (thank you truckers!) and thank you to every employee of every place that sells food – without all of you, this pandemic would have been far more horrendous!

Thank you to the bus drivers, teachers (who are well underpaid!) and all essential workers for keeping things going while the rest of us shut down.

Thank you to the Canadian government and health officials who have been there for us, informing us, supporting us and giving us the truth of the situation. (So proud to be a Canadian!)  Thank you to all the anonymous, un-thanked volunteers who are delivering food to the most vulnerable.  You are heroes and sheroes too!  Thank you to the food banks who are overwhelmed with requests and under supported.

Thank you to all those following the social distancing requirements, staying home and wearing masks while you have to be out and about.  You too are an important part of this recovery process!

And thanks also to the “covidiots” who necessitate embarrassment; I never thought we would need new lessons on how to properly wash our hands or explanations of what “six feet apart” looks like.

I had long held out hope that pollution levels in India, Los Angeles and China would dissipate, and yet, look at what happens when we are forced to stay home with our families, loved ones and liked ones? Jellyfish have been spotted in the canals in Venice!  People are hearing bird song in places in which birds had disappeared and more importantly, we have had no choice but to surrender to our surrounding ecosystems.

Why (and when) did it become normal to continually and substantially harm our environments?  It took a global health crises for us to realise what was possible if we all just stopped for a bit…

People, let’s not ever go back to the previous way of environmental degradation.  We have the power to shape a new normal, so when we are able, let’s all go plant hundreds of trees.

Goodness knows, the Amazon is in trouble.  Let’s not add to it… Look at what happens when we give Nature the time she needs to repair herself.

Have you also noticed the tanking of gas prices?  I’ve written on this blog before that if all of you wanted to see lower gas prices, all you had to do was stop driving for a bit.

This is nothing new.  Given how many people have stopped driving for a month or two, we’re seeing major environmental response.  Please don’t throw that away for the sake of the dreaded rat race.  We have one planet.  There are no other options.

Moreover, when did it become normal for world leaders to publicly request that all governments globally work together to solve this crisis?  Did the fact that “we’re all in this together” not register?  Do certain leaders think that their part of the continent will be spared given who’s in charge?   Denial is a dangerous game when it comes to pandemics.  Let’s stop electing people who clearly don’t give a ****.

How many of you complained that you didn’t have enough time with your families?  How many of you wished you didn’t have to see your bosses on a day-to-day basis?  How many of you wished “that you could just slow down for a little while?”

It seems, my friends, we were all making the same wishes…

But there are lessons here for those who ponder- Only the One who Made us could make the entire world stop, answer all our wishes, show us who the real heroes are and expose the awesome regenerative power of Mother Nature simultaneously!

Take this time and use it well.  Don’t waste it on the hustle; the old rat race has run its course.  Nature is showing us what really happens when we’re not paying attention.

Speaking of paying attention, it’s been bothering me that we pay certain people so much money to act in plays or movies. We give them awards and as much air time as they want – even just for cutting their hair.  Yet, we pay our teachers less than many essential service workers.   We pay our footballers, basket ball players and baseball players more money than can be justified whilst we under-fund and undervalue teachers, janitors, porters, food servers and biological researchers – these are the people who will find a cure for cancer – and for the Novel Corona Virus.

Don’t get me wrong – GO RAPTORS! – I love a good match as much as anyone else, however, are we all not questioning priorities at the moment?  One of the Italian biological researchers said it well, “You pay Messi 1 million Euros per month while you pay researchers 1800 Euros.  You want a cure?  Go ask Messi.”

How many of you, whilst schooling your children at home, have had the thought “I don’t know how teachers do this every day…”? It’s time to show, and place, appreciation where it belongs.

And how is it that we read one article on what is happening, or what needs to happen and we become sudden subject matter experts who can diagnose one another and prognosticate as to when things will open up again?

Also, HOW do people get away with having mass protests under lock down? Because yet again, the almighty dollar reigns supreme?  Has Covid taught people nothing? Without your health, the rest of anything else becomes irrelevant.

And WHEN did it become okay to pack in a small flight without any pre-screening,  health or temperature checks? Or any instructions that masks must be worn throughout the flight?

Speaking of planes, how long will it take before I can travel again? How long before I can see my antipodean family?  When can I rush into a grocery store for a midnight milk run?  When can I sit with loved ones in a café or restaurant without fear of infection?  When will there be a vaccine and how will they get it to everyone?

I’m sure many of you have the same questions.  I think the most important fact of the matter is this: family matters.  Your loved ones matter more than the hustle, the drive, the status of how many and how much…

We have to trust that “this too shall pass,” and when we emerge from this world of isolation, let’s all be that much kinder to each other.  Do we not deserve that?

Love each other.  That’s the only real rule.

 

Lessons from Drake (@champagnepappi)

Thank you Drake, for sharing this beautiful message!!

Beautiful People, once again, I’m not using my own words.  Sometimes, it takes the words of others to voice exactly what we are feeling.  Shout out to @champagnepappi for posting something so exquisitely on point right now:

“What is most important for you right now is to connect to your own inner light.  This will create the biggest opening of all. Trust that you have all of the power within, to make this happen, and in order to do that, connect to the people and things that bring you a lot of joy.  When the mind starts to move into overthinking and fear, shift your attention right away to something bright. It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past, or what is happening around us now, you can always make the choice to break free of the wheel of suffering and panic and open up to your own light. We are powerful manifestors, so once you make the choice in the moment to shift your awareness to something good, it will show you in your reality. Be conscious, especially right now of fears coming in from others and recognize that not everything should be held by you. Laughter is your best medicine but tears can also be a powerful release.  Let go of any judgement you may have around that.  Remember that you are never alone, and if you need to be reminded of that, ask for support and it will show up. Everything comes down to intention, and even though there are conflicting energies circling around us you must KNOW…it will rebuild. But in order for that to happen, you have to do exactly that.  Trust. You have the biggest heart and that is your greatest gift. It’s impossible to always control your surroundings, but when you shift the focus to how you feel, everything will conspire to assist you. I love and miss my beautiful family and I can’t wait for the joyful day when we are all able to reunite. Until then, please keep your lights on. ♥”

 

Thank you Drake!
And thank you to all the front line workers, whomever you are, wherever you be, you are loved and appreciated!

 

 

Hey Vancouverites,

Thank you for one of the most peaceful protests we’ve seen in a very long time.  Thank you to everyone who made signs (on recyclable and reused materials) and thank you to all the parents who stood beside their little ones.  This strike/protest matters.  You matter. Our world matters.   “One love, One heart, Let’s get together” and make this right!

Some of my favourite photos:

All photos ©Safreena Rajan

People of all walks of life attended this rally from very young to young at heart and all people in between.  The human family was well represented today.  Well done Vancouverites!

 

Kudos to the VSB for “Letting” kids skip school to attend.  I get the feeling though, that the majority of the 100,000 people in the downtown core would not have asked permission.

The Earth is in trouble people.  Let’s not leave it in the hands of those who clearly don’t care.

Thank you to everyone in every city, province, state, nation, country who walked or who supported those who walked today.  Shout out to the Policeman who directed traffic using his sandwich and coke bottle as sign posts for traffic to follow!  (Unfortunately I couldn’t get a pic, but I’m thankful I live in a place where the police have our safety first in mind and can make us laugh.)  And thankful I live in a place where signs like this result only in messages being delivered and more cardboard being recycled!

Thank you to the Climate Strike Team, Fridays for the Future, Greta Thunberg and all the lovely people who, like me, have been fighting this fight for years.  There is much to be done. Today was a fantastic start!

“Islamophobia has no room in this world. If we continue to blame Islam for this tragedy, then we are worse than isis. Isis is not Islam.”

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has ever been victim to the cruel attacks by savages purporting to be Muslim. These are acts of cowardice and barbarism. This is not Islam.

My thoughts are also with victims of Islamophobia.

We can change things by standing together because love will always, always, always overpower hate. 💗✌💞