Listen to Each Other

It came to my attention today that a Scarborough MP recently died of cancer. Arnold Chan was fifty years of age and a well respected and loved politician who was first and foremost a humanitarian who cared deeply for his constituents and fellow Members of Parliament. He was said to be positive, optimistic and full of energy.

After hearing a replay of one of his speeches, this particular sentence stood out for me…”That is the challenge that is going on around the world right now,” he said. “No one is listening. Everyone is just talking at once. We have to listen to each other.”

“We have to listen to each other.” How profound is that? And how timely? And how to the point…whether in politics, families, friendships, relationships, marriages…”We have to listen to each other.”

These words remind me of a line from the famous poem, “Desiderata”: And listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, for they too have their story.

Some people leave this world a better place by the things they have said and done. Arnold Chan was one of those people just by uttering that single sentence…”We have to listen to each other.”

Wake Up! There is a Better Way

Who of us is immune to the effects of vandalism, terrorism, random acts of violence, and the life-snuffing behavior of some people who seem to have a complete disrespect for their fellow person?

We see it around the world; Russia, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, America, Canada…each country has its own lack of human values to deal with: guns, knives, machetes, bricks, sticks, stones, whatever…to prove what?

I even noticed it in our own recent Provincial elections, to a lesser degree but noticeable, indeed. I call it a new kind of party animal (if you will pardon the pun) where,  instead of sticking to their own agendas, and offering voters some substantial food for thought, two of the three candidates went on a bashing spree against the third one; verbal yes, but still bashing. It reminded me of Genesis 50:20 when Joseph said to his brothers, who sold him into slavery, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”

It is all an assault on my senses, and I go on a writing spree. The G-20 Toronto Summit riots in 2010, and the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots in 2011, prompted the following:


To all who are asleep in vandalism and violent acts,

unconscious to the fact

that destroying the lives of other people and their property

is not a joke, hear this!

What gives you the right to take a rock

and with your might

smash the life another person lives?

Hear what I say:

“Wake up! There is a better way.”

Look at you!

What do you see?

That thoughtless, senseless person

is not who you’re meant to be!

Wear the shoes of the destroyed

rather than the destroyer.

See how it feels

to be ground

under the heels

of people

who are not aware

of their good side.

Again I say,

“Wake up! There is a better way!”

Find it! Change your wicked ways!

Humanity awaits the new you.


Can you imagine a world where we work together instead of against each other? Do you remember John Lennon’s Imagine? Imagine if we try.