Things Disney has taught me

We have all heard the negative comments about Disney. The princesses have unrealistic waists, the princesses are damsels in distress, they aren’t positive role models, there is a lack of diversity etc…. While some of those are on point, like the small waist comment (see picture below comparing real and fake waist sizes on Disney princesses), there is also some valuable life lessons that Disney has taught me. I guess like all things it depends on how you decide to view it. So let’s focus on the positive shall we?

disney-princess-800

Taken from: http://people.com/bodies/see-the-disney-princesses-re-imagined-with-real-body-types/

Let’s start with Pocahontas. This Disney movie has taught me multiple things. First is a respect for nature. While I was really young, when I first watched the movie Pocahontas, I remember loving the nature, the animals, and the song “Colours of the Wind” is still one of my absolute favourites. I feel that the movie succeeded in showing how nature is a living thing that needs to be respected. Who doesn’t love the mother willow?

disney Grandmother-Willow

Mother Willow: Photo credit goes to Disney

Looking at the movie in an adult perspective, keep in mind I haven’t seen this movie in ages, I feel that while it does show a stereotypical portrayal of Native American/First nations, you are introduced to a new culture and some parts as I recall were on point. The “white/European” people are also portrayed stereotypical, but also have some things on point. I mean that character Governor Radcliff (see image) is like a caricature of the rich white man in previous centuries living the life while so many others are suffering and starving in Europe. There is still a similar problem today with the world’s richest 8 people owning more wealth as the poorest 50% https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jan/16/worlds-eight-richest-people-have-same-wealth-as-poorest-50 .

Governor Ratcliff: Photo credit goes to Disney

Governor Ratcliff: Photo credit goes to Disney

Both these portrayals make me think that nothing is black or white and that both sides have their good and bad qualities. While “white/European” people were in the wrong, some First nations people were also in the wrong. Vice versa, some “white/European” people were doing some things right, while first Nations people were also doing things right. Both sides might disagree on what is “right” but at both times both these sides were doing what was right according to them. In short, it’s all about viewing both perspectives and seeing the motive behind both side’s view points and actions. In the movie, I recall that we saw the culture albeit somewhat stereotypical of the first nations people as well as the culture, again somewhat stereotypical of the white European people. It’s a good starting place to see that there is always two sides to the story. It’s also a good starting point to start thinking of what is “right” what is “wrong” and the effects are actions can have. Pretty deep stuff when you think about it. Though as a child the main thing is that you learn a bit about a new culture, again I know that some of the representation is again stereotypical but as a child all you think is wow this is really cool. It’s a starting point to learn about the past, the real historical facts, you learn about a strong role model like Pocahontas and about the importance of nature. All in all many positive messages.

To end the things I learned from Pocahontas here is this quote I love! “When you walk the footsteps of a stranger you will learn things you never knew you never knew.” (Colours of the Wind, Pocahontas)

(As to not make this post too long here is a brief overview of some other movies. I might make individual post similar to the Why Moana is pretty great for more Disney Movies in the future.)

Tarzan: Respecting animals, respecting people who are different than you. Learning to love people for their differences. Not changing someone to be more like you but embracing the unique person they are.

The_Legend_of_Tarzan_wallpaper

Credit for image belongs to Disney

Lilo and stich: “O’hana means family, Family mean no one gets left behind.” Hawaiian culture (I loved gettin a glimpse of it!). There is good in us all, even creatures made for destruction.

Credit for image belongs to Disney

Credit for image belongs to Disney

Beauty and the beast: Everyone has the power for good, even the beast. Patience pays off. Kindness has the power to do amazing things.

Mulan: Be who you want to be. Girls are strong. Mushuu is hilarious, Though that’s not really a lesson. Sometimes girl’s roles need to be redefined. Everyone has the power to do great things. I also loved seeing a bit of Chinese culture. As you can see this is a reoccurring theme. I love learning about different peoples beliefs, religions, cultures etc.

Credit for image belongs to Disney

Credit for image belongs to Disney

So, here is small list of some things Disney has taught me. There is so many more I could write. for example the little mermaid and the lesson of following your dreams or Peter Pan and the lesson of having to grow up. While Disney as mentioned above has some things to be criticized for, they have also started trying to diversify their image. Maybe it’s a marketing tool to side with the high demand for diversity or it or maybe the company has realized the benefits or showing some diversity and more relatable role models. Whatever the reason, I am liking some of the messages I see coming out; for example, the #DreamBigPrincess campaign that encourages girls to dream big and not stick to the traditional girl job models (staying at home, not allowed in engineering or science etc.. see image below promoting the project). They partnered with GirlUp a UN initiative and every tweet or retweet people made, Disney would donate 1$ to Girl Up. By the end they reached their 1 million dollar goal!

Credit for image belongs to Disney

Credit for image belongs to Disney

In short Disney has a lot of influence as one of the major world companies and I like how they are starting to support some positive messages. Remembering to look at the positive side of things can reveal some interesting things and I think all in all Disney movies can demonstrate some positive messages that can be valuable for all ages.

Until next time, think positive, spread kindness and be part of a PoweredCrowd!

*** Little note. While listening to a music playlist of Disney songs I came upon this song. It’s not Disney but Dreamworks, either way I just love this song it’s pretty amazing!!! Give it a lesson it is so inspiring to me, anything is possible when you believe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gur8ccqrQ9c  (When you believe – Prince of Egypt )

Positive News

Hello everyone,

Earlier I posted on some sad things going on in the world. So now I am going to post on some things I think are just awesome!

Firstly this event that happened in Germany. While it’s not good that people there were having a neo-nazis march, the way that these locals handled it was amazing. After trying counter marches and legal actions and a whole bunch of other things that didn’t work they started a very cool idea. Fighting hate with love! These people donated 10 euros for every metre these neo-nazis walked. The money went to anti-extremist organizations. They made in into an event, hung posters that congratulated them on giving to charity, they even gave out free bananas to the marchers so they could make it to the end of the march. This is a great idea, a form of protest against the march that helps others. More information here, as well as a video: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/18/neo-nazis-tricked-into-raising-10000-for-charity

Next up, after the events at Charlottesville there has been many people speaking up in the US and other places. I have a couple favorite responses.

There is this one by Arnold schwarzenegger : https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/08/19/arnold-schwarzenegger-has-message-president-trump-terminate-hate/582966001/

This video has some valid points

This one by Tina Fey:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMnHcEGRWoA

I am not sure about everything she says but the comedy is pretty good.

This one by Jimmy Fallon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9TJsw67OmE

I like how he addresses the younger generation and teaching them kindness

I also really liked how there was a peaceful march on the same place where the white supremacist people walked in Charlottesville, in order to counter their message. (http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/17/us/university-of-virginia-vigil/index.html ) The images are beautiful and I don’t think there has been enough coverage of this event. There is also this clip below where they sing lean on me. I love this! https://www.instagram.com/p/BX4N7WmgSs5/

Now in Canada my home country there is some counter marches as well,because as I told you in a post last week white supremacists in Canada are encouraged by the events in the states and are holding marches here as well. These counter marches have happened in Vancouver, I know there is some more planned. One of those in Ottawa this Wednesday.

One last happy news is from Nepal. They now criminalized the practice of sending women into exile while on their periods.(http://time.com/4904293/nepal-criminalizes-period-huts/) I didn’t even know this was something that was happening. Honestly I find it a bit ridiculous. (I wonder who started this practice hmmm.) Periods are nothing to be ashamed about, they are a pain but a normal part of a women’s life. Periods are something that need to have less stigma associated with it. I kind of see it a bit like the not so ancient custom where if a women would show her ankle in a man’s presence she would be thought indecent or a scoundrel. Women today, maybe not all but many (I know I was in this category) are afraid to say, hey I have my period. It shouldn’t be something taboo. We go through it every month and talking about it should be considered a norm.

When Periods are something that are shunned or not talked about many things can happen. In countries like Canada,the United States, Great Britain etc… we have access to internet and book and people who are loud and unashamed to talk about all the things your body does and can do. But in countries like Nepal or other countries who are less open some girls do not learn about what happens after puberty, some girls don’t learn about how to take care of those things (i.e periods) and that can cause serious issues. Not only in the hygiene department or the pregnancy department but in the extreme cases where girls are forced into exile during their periods like in Nepal it can lead to death. This article below talks a bit about this. (https://www.positive.news/2017/society/28863/emerging-dark-ending-stigma-around-periods/)

All this to say I am glad they took a step toward a society where periods are less stigmatized and If any girl reading this thinks periods are something to be ashamed of be confident that it’s simply a normal bodily function. Inform yourself on it as it will help you to stay healthy and learn how all this stuff works.

If you don’t keep yourself informed you will end up like this guy: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/teenage-meninist-sparks-fury-anti-9067035 I think quite a few girls might get a chuckle from this or you will get upset and demand that periods and their stigma be changed once and for all!

One more thing that isn’t exactly news and won’t have much weight if you are not living in Ottawa is a new store that has opened called Nu grocery. It’s Ottawa’s first zero waste grocery store! I think this is just a great thing! It makes me realize how many people are out there striving for positive change. Here is their website: http://nugrocery.com/

So there it is. Some positive things I have found in the last couple weeks that I thought I would share.

Until next time. Be part of a Powered Crowd for positive change!

Current events and Kindness

Looking at the news these days, I can’t help but feel a bit sad, but I also feel more motivated, motivated to keep spreading my message of understanding, kindness, working together to help others, having equal rights for all.

I know for me it’s a bit hard not to feel overwhelmed with everything going on. Yes it’s in another country, yes it’s not directly affecting me most of the time, but that’s never an excuse. We are in a globalized world and something that happens in the another country, even if its across the world, is in some way related and tied to me as well.

Let’s start with an example of this fact, namely the Charlottesville rally for white supremacists. This event is just beyond words in my opinion, and not in a good way. We are in 2017 but it almost seems like we are back in the 1940’s during the Second World War, or even in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis (I will get back to that later). I saw pictures of the rally where people are holding Nazis signs and a video of people chanting against Jewish people, and people chanting other racist things. How is it that 77 years after the Second World War we still have people celebrating the horrendous events of the at Second World War?

Waving these flags these people are supporting a movement led by someone like Hitler. How can people forget that this Nazi movement created the Holocaust which led to millions of deaths. One study says 11 million were killed and 6 million of those were Jewish people.(https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-holocaust ) Another study says that 20 million people were killed(http://www.businessinsider.com/shocking-new-holocaust-study-claims-nazis-killed-up-to-20-million-people-2013-3). No matter which study is right, that is a lot of people! I don’t understand who would proudly wave the flag that represents this. How can anyone want to go back there?

There are lots of questions, things I don’t fully comprehend. All I know is that I have to state that I am against this thought that white people are superior. Every human being deserves equal rights. No one human, culture, or religion, or ethnicity is better than another.

Now I go back to the main point above. This happened in the USA. How does it affect me? There are multiple ways it affects. Number one, people who are of the same skin colour as me (white) are spouting that this makes them better. When in my opinion it’s simply a colour, it doesn’t make anyone better or worse. Being of this same skin colour, I need to say that I do not agree. It’s similar to people who are Muslim and are standing up and saying, some people are using my religion to back their terrorism but they do not represent us all. It’s an important distinction that people need to know. The actions of a few do not reflect the many, or in an extreme case, the actions of the many do not reflect the all. But luckily we are not there at the moment.

Secondly it affects me because for one, it’s in the neighbouring country to mine (Canada) and if things get out of hand there you can bet that it will spread across the border. In fact, it’s already happening. I have read in the news that, while they don’t think the numbers are as high as in the USA, there are some people trying to organize a White Supremacy rally here in Canada as well. (http://globalnews.ca/news/3670776/white-nationalist-groups-canada-on-the-rise/)

Lastly, it affects me because, as I mentioned earlier, we are a global world and having something like that happening right “next door” in a neighbouring country or even anywhere in world, it still needs to be denounced. I have read that some people are saying that ignoring these acts of violence, disrespect and hate towards other people who have done nothing to deserve it, is almost a crime. In my mind, it makes me think to a lesser scale of a bully and someone getting intimidated. If you see someone being bullied, you just stand there you and say nothing. If you say nothingyou are a part of the bullying. If you see a crime being committed and you can stop it and you don’t, doesn’t the law make you an accomplice? I don’t encourage anyone to jump in the middle of a fight or protest in any unsafe manner, but simple acts like stating “I stand for equal rights for all”, or “I denounce hate and violence” can do wonders. Going back to the example of bullying, someone who goes to get the teacher or who starts talking to the person being bullied in a friendly manner until the bully leaves can be just as much of a hero as the one who tells the bully to back off.

Now on to the second news event that’s making me sad, The North Korean threats of launching missiles. I hadn’t been worrying too much about this until I saw something my friend posted on Facebook on the subject. It made me research it more and wow, things are tense! Some people are saying a missile is not very likely and they could shoot a missile down if it comes to it, but I don’t like to see posts of Kim Jong Un being briefed on a potential US target. Threats are being thrown back and forth between Trump and Kim Jong Un. All in all it doesn’t look great.

This goes back to my mention of it looking like the Cuban Missile Crisis except there is one main difference here. My parents tellstories of doing bomb practices and hiding under desks. In the event of a missile, especially a nuclear missile, hiding under a desk will do next to nothing.

A teacher once told me if the Third World War is fought with nuclear power then the Fourth World War will be fought with sticks and stones. I think he was quoting someone but I don’t remember who. Either way, it always stuck with me. We are at a point in technology that a war would be disastrous to everyone no matter if directly involved in the fighting or not. Nuclear warfare would destroy everything. To put thing in perspective the atomic bomb used in World War 2 leveled cities caused widespread destruction (see image) and killed in hundred thousands. The atomic bomb, according to this article, are more than 3,000 times more powerful(http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a23306/nuclear-bombs-powerful-today/)I will leave this issue with this quote from Einstein: “Mankind invented the atomic bomb but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap.”

I do not own the rights to this photo

I do not own the rights to this photo

Needless to say that the idea of the USA and North Korea exchanging bombs can be scary. So what do we do? Well some USA comedians and late night hosts are making jokes out of it. Some are speaking up; I have seen a picture of someone with a protest sign against this conflict. But apart from spreading awareness and trying to send messages or tolerance, love, kindness, and peace, there is not much someone can do but hope for the best. No one has the power to read minds and know what is really going on behind the scenes or in the heads of people in power on both sides.

So there is a lot going on (that’s an understatement! I haven’t even gotten into the multiple other things going on in the world right now…) but in my mind that just reinforces the idea that we need to spread kindness, spread understanding, and more than ever stand up for what is right, for equal rights for all humans and for trying peace over violence. So let’s be a powered crowd for positive change.

I know this was a heavy post so I will finish with one of the good things happening in the world. Because, while there is this scary and huge negative movement going on, there are also so many people aiming for happiness, for kindness, and for positive change. It’s important to remember all the good in the world. Here is a video I saw about a group of touring artists helping kids be kids in Syrian refugee camps. It makes me so happy and reminds me that kids are kids, we were all kids once. Someone once told me that kids all start out happy and kind, it’s life that changes us. It also makes me think that when you are down or feeling negative life also has the tools to bring you back up. So here is the video. Until next time be part of that powered crowd!

https://www.facebook.com/bbcthree/videos/10155043827725787/

10 Challenges To Do During La Machine Ottawa

As part of the Canada 150 celebrations we have a giant Monster Spider and Monster Dragon roaming the streets of the national capital. When I am writing this part of the post, I haven’t seen the show yet but I have seen them practice at a nearby museum.

Practice Dragon

Practice Dragon

Practice spider

Practice spider

I will be going to see the show downtown later today and I thought I would do a different post than usual and start by my predictions for the day and later tell you what happened. Today it will be 30 degrees Celsius without the humidex and about 10,000 people have showed up to past shows. I feel like it will be a bit crazy and maybe a bit overwhelming because of the amount of people and that hot and sticky weather.

I know personally that I am not the best in the middle of huge crowds and not the best with heat as well my doctor ordered me to do nothing this weekend and rest because I have been feeling under the weather for over 2 weeks now. ( I am kind of breaking that rule oops)

Where I am going with this? Well all these factors make it so I am predicting some challenges for me today in how I will be in my mood or patience. So I decided in a Powered Crowd fashion to give myself a challenge in order to turn these obstacles in my way of a good time into something positive and fun. In my opinion everything is in how you look at it and if I am predicting a bad day it will be a bad day but if I give myself some incentive to look at the positive than it can easily change things around.

So without further ado here are my challenges for the day which I will report on later.

1.Take an awesome picture with the Dragon or the Spider.

2. Take a selfie with the mechanical creatures.

3. Assist one person in need of help. ( they need directions,they are stuck in the crowd etc.)

4.Make one person smile.

5. Give one compliment.

6.Take a breather when I (you) need space.

7. Do something silly for no reason. (dance to the music, sing with a busker etc.)

8. Give 50 cents or more to a busker or homeless person.

9. Eat something you have never tried before OR eat something you don’t usually eat.

10. HAVE FUN. This seems like an obvious one but everyone needs a reminder once in a while.

So there they are, my challenges for the day. I love doing this because it gives me a goal for the day and it also gives me something to do to take my mind off the things around me that make me feel a bit tense or anxious. On top of that it gives me some ideas of how to be part of a powered crowd and spread some kindness at the same time I enjoy the show and have fun.

Feel free to borrow these challenges if like me, crowds and heat get to you, or if you just want something fun to add to your day. If you do borrow these please tag me on social media, comment below or use the hashtag #poweredcrowd !

I will be posting part two a bit later on so stay tuned for that!

Like a turtle

This weekend I had an interesting experience. My friend invited me to go for a picnic with some of her friends. This is a new friend so I was debating, I wouldn’t know anyone there. What if I was socially awkward? Etc.

Because of how my life has gone I am not the type of person who will go out to parties and hang out with friends every Friday night, so going to social gatherings doesn’t come very naturally to me even though I love being social. It’s a weird combination but I am full of contradictions when it comes to these kind of things, I am bad at being social but I like being social, I have anxiety but I like going on adventures and trying new things, and the list goes on.

Anyways the night before this I was overwhelmed with some things in my life and overly tired. I was talking to someone close to me and they gave me their favorite analogy, the turtle.

This person always tells me be like a turtle. The turtle needs to stick its head out to move even though by doing this he is exposing the most vulnerable part of it’s body. Yet still he sticks his head out and moves forward.

That quote struck relevant that day because, like the turtle, I had to stick my neck out and be vulnerable to the possibility of being hurt or ridiculed by this new group, which is something I sometimes still struggle/worry about because of my anxiety and my past of being bullied. Being vulnerable to show myself and see if I was accepted or rejected by this group, would it be a good or a bad experience?

The next day I hopped into my car (I am a fairly new driver so driving isn’t my favorite thing) and tried to be positive about the day ahead.

This is when my day’s adventures begin. I start by having an uneventful drive but when I arrived at my destination, a park called Hog’s Back, I see that there is a Dragon Boat Festival happening. This caused some inconveniences because the parking at the park was reserved for the volunteers helping out at the festival.

I quickly figured out, with the help of one said volunteer, that there was another parking about a block away. That sounded good so I followed her directions and easily found the parking. Then my day took a turn towards a less sunny direction. After touring the parking lot for a solid 5-10 minutes I realized I needed to go into the parking garage. Not so bad, that is until there was no parking on the first floor and I had to go up and up and up and up and up. Not a big deal to most people probably but I had never driven in a parking garage before and my anxiety kept telling me “maybe you aren’t allowed to park in here, You’re going the wrong way. Tthis isn’t how parking garages work etc…” All these thoughts made me really tense, so I tried to find a place to stop but the car behind me kept inching closer and closer and I could see in my mirrors that they weren’t happy with my pace. So I kept going up and up. Finally, I found a spot and I let out a breath of sharp relief. The car was still inching closer behind me so I turn into the spot. I see that I am close to the car parked beside that spot but I tell myself I have enough room to squeeze in, let the jerk go by, and then back up and straighten up properly into the spot. Well, I misjudged the distance and my new car banged into a seemingly other new car. I stop right there, the car behind me beeps at me and then zooms past, there is an Asian couple looking at me with horror on their faces and I shrunk into myself. I took control of my emotions for a second back up, slide into the spot, turn off my car and then the panic sets in. I am too emotional to get out of the car and check the damage.

Eventually I calm down, checked and saw that only the paint had been chipped off the other car, no dents or anything. So I leave my number and name on a note explaining what happened and get my stuff out for the picnic, trying not to think about what just happened, and moved on since I was already one hour late to my friends birthday picnic. All the picnic stuff was fairly heavy but I told myself, it will be worth it when I get there, it’s only a block away. Then, of course, I got lost for an hour and a half before I finally found where I was supposed to go.

Where I am getting with this is the “ahhh” moment of the day. I had a rough day at that point and was tired and grumpy, but then I turned a corner and saw this sight.

It made me stop and look on the bright side of things. A moment to re-center I stood there for a while and took some pictures. When I was ready, I kept walking for another 10-15 minutes and found my friend and the picnic spot. Then things went well, turned out I wasn’t the only one who got lost and another 5 people showed up after me.

It made me think. Sometimes things happen for a reason and when I get all tense and grumpy I just need to stop a moment and re-focus on my surroundings. If my surroundings are butt ugly than I just need to close my eyes and focus on my hopes and try thinking of my situation in a different way.

Right before I was about to leave for home I saw a couple staring at the ground and it got my attention. I went to see what they were looking at and saw… a humongous turtle. You might recall the start of this post and the turtle story, so I had to take it as a sign. You might not believe in signs but no matter if you do or don’t this sign or coincidence made me smile big time and realize that, while it might not have been easy deciding to go out of my shell or easy getting there, there is a reason I keep peeking out of my shells. Because there is so much to do and see in this world and the only way to do it is to be brave and do what scares us, that’s how things get done, that’s how we learn, that’s how we create positive change.

DSCN1162

The massive Turtle I saw!

It was quite an eventful day, and looking back I had fun and got a reminder on some important lessons like listening to yourself, taking the time to re-focus and re-centre, as well as taking chances every once in a while.

So I will end with this. Like the turtle go out of your shell and spread some kindness, share your stories, create some positive change, and be part of a powered crowd!

 

Loving people with Alzheimers

Hello,

I hope everyone is doing well. Today I am going to be discussing the topic of Alzheimer’s.

According to the Alzheimer Canada website, 564,000 Canadians are currently living with dementia, 937,000 Canadians will be living with the disease in 15 years, and 1.1 million Canadians are affected directly or indirectly by the disease. (http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/about-dementia/what-is-dementia/dementia-numbers)

Personally, I am one of those 1.1 million affected indirectly. My grandfather has Alzheimer’s and while I know it is probably more tough on my grandmother and my father and his brothers, it doesn’t minimize that it’s also tough on me. I have these memories of him being so nice and happy but it seems now those parts are dimmed because all I see when I visit him is this man that doesn’t know me or his wife or his son. A man that has trouble eating and speaking and, if I allow myself to really think of it, all those break my heart a little.

I remember the day I found out. We were at my grandparents house (which is also a cottage for the rest of the family). It was a treat to go there. I remember seeing the adults talking seriously in the kitchen but I didn’t want to bother them so I went back to playing with my cousins or doing whatever I had been doing before. In the car on my way, home my parents were whispering a serious conversation. I asked what was going on and they said that some of the aunts and uncles thought my grandfather was getting a bit too forgetful, while some thought it he was ok (they didn’t want to admit it).

The months progressed and it started being more obvious. I was at their house/cottage again and as I was an early riser I was sitting in the kitchen watching the water and drawing while I was waiting for everyone else to get up. My grandfather walks by looking a little lost and I ask him, “Grampa where are you going?” he looked at me and not really seeing me said, “I have to go to work, the students are waiting for me” (he was a teacher). Keep in mind that the man saying this is long past teaching age. It was then that it really hit me, that I knew he really had Alzheimer’s. I looked at him and tried to explain that he didn’t teach anymore that he didn’t have to go but it just got him more antsy so I switched tactics and told him there was no school today, which seemed to calm him down, he walked off and was back soon after, same as he always was.

Eventually he was put in a home. He no longer had episodes or forgetfulness, like the previous example, instead he was constantly in the haze of Alzheimer’s.

Today he is still in that home and getting worse and worse. But I love my grandfather because the man he was with his memories is still there. When we come in to see him, he doesn’t know who we are but he always gives us a big smile. He also still cares about others. My favorite story on this took place right before he was put in the home. He was watching TV with my grandmother, an old western that he loves, and in the show a women was being hurt or abused or something. The way my grandmother tells it he stood right up charging towards the TV to “protect the girl” in the screen (don’t worry he didn’t break the TV and calmed down afterwards).

Like the story suggests and countless other stories I won’t write at the moment, it’s easy to see that he still a great person Alzheimers or not. But he is different because of this disease. It’s hard to see someone, a family member, anyone, go through this. It’s hard to talk to them when they can’t even recognize you or even respond. This is why I am writing this post, to share awareness of this issue. To talk about the fact that even if the person suffering from Alzheimer’s does not know you ,or can’t talk to you,  you still have to treat them with kindness and understanding even if it’s hard or seems pointless. Because they are still a person, still a grandfather(or uncle or friend or dad etc…) still a good person. (don’t be the person in this article, just don’t http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/caught-on-video-elderly-ottawa-man-with-dementia-punched-in-face-11-times-by-personal-support-worker)

The mind works in weird ways, one day you go and the person with Alzheimers looks through you and can’t say one word. Sometimes you go and they seem to be trying to speak, seem to look at you like they know there is something there that they might know.

The other day I had proof of just that. Keep in mind that my grandfather has not said a sentence that has made any sense in a while, that he doesn’t know who anyone in my family is, including his wife and sons (there’s some faint recognition, like the smile I talked about and the fact that he will go for a walk with us but, that’s it). Keep this in mind, when I tell you a story I was told that happened about two weeks ago that really astounded me. My grandfather was at my uncle’s house, he had a sandwich that was packed by the home for his afternoon snack. He was sitting with my uncle, cousins and grandmother, my uncle’s dog Max was there as well. Someone was feeding him pieces of his sandwich and at some point he stopped them and said (very clearly from what I hear) “give it to Max”. Four simple words that just make a world of difference. It showed that my grandfather, who was always a dog person, who always wanted to help others, is still there even with those memories being gone.

This is Max. I love this dog!

This is Max. I love this dog!

In all honestly, we know what Alzheimer’s looks like from the outside but no one has the capacity to know what it looks and feels like from the inside. Which is why we need to treat everyone with respect and understanding, we need to treat everyone equally. No matter if you think they can understand you or not. No matter if they are non-verbal or can’t remember what you say them. Like with all the differences in the world be it a disease or a different culture or religion or belief system we are all humans and we all deserve the same rights and respect.

So let’s be part of a powered crowd and help raise awareness for causes like Alzheimer’s, let’s share out stories, share some compassion and understanding and spread some kindness!

*** To end this post I want to give a shout out to two girls who are raising awareness for this issue, Samantha Clusiau and Amanda Bernardo. They have made a book called Little Voice, and part of the profits go to causes tied to Alzheimer’s. The author of the book (Amanda) also has a family member suffering with this disease, which is why she decided to donate some of the proceeds. So far they have raised 7,310 dollars! They are both so kind so if you want to check out their website here is the link (http://littlevoicethebook.com/)

We Day Canada 2017

Hello everyone,

Most of you know of Canada day. But this year I was almost more excited for We day. Also know as the day after Canada day.

We day is a movement where young people need to volunteer their hours in order to go to this big event full of inspiring people and celebrities.

This day however was free to everyone but still had all the celebrities and inspiring speeches. It was in honor of Canada celebrating 150 years and all the guests where Canadians.

It really was a great experience being there and also a lot of fun.

Here is a video I made with a recap of some of the events.

Events like this and One Young World are so amazing and it just inspires me to do more than I already do! Speaking of which I have some plans for the future of this blog which I will be announcing fairly soon!

The hardest part with starting a project to help others is starting. I have thought of big ideas and smaller ideas. But it always seemed either too big of a project or not big enough. I have decided that all I need to do is start and who knows where that start big or small project will lead me.

I encourage you, dear readers, to find a cause or think about what you care about and start from there. There is no idea too small or too big. The point is that everyone needs to start somewhere and then you will see where it leads. If you are passionate about helping others don’t let the questions of how big the effect will be hold you down. If you help one person that is already so much better than helping none.

So keep that in mind and share some kindness and understanding. Be part of a powered crowd!

Happy Canada day and be safe?

Today is Canada day! It’s an exciting year since Canada is celebrating 150 years! There is a lot planned today and I am really excited to go and see the festivities. However, this year Canada Day has made me question some things.

Picture taken in Newfoundland. Love my country!

Picture taken in Newfoundland. Love my country!

First of all, what is Canada day? This might seem like an obvious question to some but when I thought about it I realized that the answer is only obvious to the individual. Let me explain. To me Canada Day is a day I spend with family, a day that I get to go out and see and be part of a wonderful atmosphere, a day that I say I am proud to be from Canada.

To others Canada day is a day to party hard, to new immigrants from war torn countries its a day to be thankful to be in a country that is not at war, to some Canada day is a day to show their patriotic pride or even a day to complain about the current government and then we also have the very important group of indigenous people who are saying that Canada day is an insult because they have been here for much much longer than 150 years.

I think all these views of Canada day are valid. In fact, I think all these views are essential. Because Canada, in my opinion is strong because of it’s diversity. Canada day might not mean the same thing to everyone but most citizens and Canadian residents can all agree on one thing, that we live on one amazing piece of land.

We have the opportunity to make a great future for all that live on this land, right now, right here and we should continue to strive for that in coming years. No matter if you side with the year 150 for this country or not ,we all share it and we all need to work together to make Canada all that it can be.

In short, Canada day for me is being accepting of all views in this country, whether you agree with them or not. Canada day is spreading the kindness that most associate with our country. It’s embracing who you are and raising your voice for your beliefs.

Canada day is a day to remember that it’s our Canada and that if we work together we can make some positive change that will benefit as many people as possible.

On a side note. Has anyone noticed a recurring trend this year? It seems to me that I have been hearing a slight variation on the ‘have a good/happy Canada day’. The majority of people wishing me a good weekend and a happy Canada day have all added this phrase in various manors ‘Have a safe Canada Day’ ‘Happy Canada day, Be safe’. When did this start? Since when do we have to emphasize ‘be safe’ on a day that is supposed to be a happy celebration. Since when do people have to go to festivities downtown with a bit of a nagging fear in their gut that something might happen, like it did in Manchester or Paris. Now more than ever it’s important to spread that acceptance of other cultures and beliefs and to also spread some kindness.

With that I wish everyone (and I mean everyone) who wants to celebrate Canada Day a happy day. and unfortunately I just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t add be safe, not just because of the scary possibilty of something happening that we see on the news but also because those crowds are going to be CRAZY! Have you seen the picture of the line up that is set up? It zig zags up three blocks. I am serious, there is picture proof. I did hear that they will be putting buskers along the line up so it won’t be too bad for people who decide to go.

Ok now for real have a good day everyone!

Perfection?

I am long overdue for a post. I am hoping to be able to put more work on this site throughout the summer as I start having a bit more time.

This picture I took always makes me think of summer and calmness.

This picture I took always makes me think of summer and calmness.

Speaking of time this post will be on just that subject. Time and perfection.

The ideal of perfection is something very prevalent in today’s society. Your looks have to be according to the ideals of perfect beauty according to modern media. For most people this idea version of perfection is something that causes them a lot of pressure, and to others this ideal causes eating disorders, anxiety etc.

Perfection can also be seen in expectation other put on you. How they expect people to all fit certain molds when it comes to weight or work ethic or even learning style. The thing is everyone is different, everyone works differently, everyone has different dreams, different learning styles, different body types, different likes and dislikes etc.

So where does that put us? This is a long and complicated question but as not to get too off track I will focus on one aspect of this question. The personal ideal of perfection. It’s so easy to get sidetracked with what others want of you, while it’s good to keep some of these expectation in mind as they will help you make informed decisions and be aware of other people’s needs. It is also so important to every once in a while focus on what perfection is to you. What are your goals? What are your hopes? What is acceptable to you?

I have been thinking of this idea lately as I have been very busy with some work for my summer job I needed to prepare a large document of many pages. We were given about 20 hrs or payed work for this document. I am passionate about doing my summer job right and making the documents the best it could be. So I started working with this intention and soon realized that 1 of the 9 parts of this document took over four hours. Meaning the whole thing would take more than twice as much the 20 hrs they gave us.

One night after working on this document for a couple hours straight I got into this mind set of I can’t do this, I have so much left to do and so little time left to do it, it’s just too much. This train of thought started to cause me anxiety.

I talked to my mother and she told something very wise, as many people older than yourself do often when you start to listen. (The saying everyone has something to learn goes both ways in my opinion. I think everyone has at least one thing to teach). She told me this: “You have to realize that you are putting this pressure on yourself. You are striving to make this perfect but it’s causing you anxiety. You have to make a choice, either you don’t meet your high standards and hand it in the way it is or keep doing what you are doing if you think that in it will be worth it in the end. It’s your choice.” I am paraphrasing. My mother said this way more eloquently but the meaning is the same.

She reminded me that it’s all about perspective. I was the one putting pressure on myself. I was the one going above the expectations. So I could either be happy about my choice and keep working hard with a positive attitude knowing that when I finish it I will glad I did it or I could keep doing it while being miserable the whole time or I could even quit.

I am the type of person that when I make up my mind to do something, I do it! I am very pig headed that way. So I knew I wouldn’t be happy with myself unless I did this document the right way or at least the way I thought was the right way. Which left me with this question, do I do it happily or do I do it angrily?

This question is vital to remember. I am writing about this because I don’t want to forget it. In this world we live in we don’t always have a choice about what needs to be done. For example we need to work to make a living, we need to follow certain steps to get certain jobs, etc. (I am not saying there isn’t always a choice in every decision because I believe there is, but in society things are organized in a certain way so that various steps usually need to be taken to get where you want to go). One thing we can always change however is how we view things. If we make the best of it than the dreary might still be dreary but at least it is bearable, or at least it is doable. In some cases, with enough practice, I would like to think that hard tasks will become easier with a positive attitude and maybe, eventually, they will not be so hard.

So this is a new challenge I am giving myself. I would like to encourage others to look at hard tasks with a positive attitude and not give up on projects that seem too hard. Listen to yourself and believe in yourself. So much can be achieved if you challenge your idea of perfection and strive for what matters to you. While looking at what others expect of you is important, I believe it’s equally or even more important to look at what you expect from yourself. Think carefully about the expectations you have for yourself. Some people might realize that they expect too much from themselves, some people might see that they don’t expect enough from themselves (i.e. they do not believe in themselves enough) but I would think that most people would see a bit of both.

So to end this post I will tie in the main idea that I repeat almost every time I write on this blog: keep these ideas in mind and use them to make yourself more happy which in turn will spread more happiness and kindness to others so you can be part of a powered crowd for positive change!

International Day of Happiness

Today is international day of happiness.

This could mean many different things to many different people. To me this is a day to promote happiness in yourself by letting go of the bad letting yourself be happy by doing things you love and things that make you smile. This day is also about spreading happiness to others even if it’s just in the simple act of making someone smile which will make their day just that much better.

Because of this my goal for today is to make as many people smile as I can. I will be posting updates on Twitter and a final tally on this post either tonight of tomorrow. I encourage others to do the same, create some smiles today and make sure you let me know in any of my social media platforms how many smiles you manage to do!

Until then I will leave you with two videos and picture that make me happy. Hopefully they will make you smile too!

This one is in honor of the popular movie coming out. One of my childhood favorites. Skip to 3:15 if your low on time. I just love how they scream “CARS!” at the end of every scene.

This next video is Benedict Cumberbatch trying to say Penguins. It make me laugh so hopefully it will do the same for you! I am pretty sure everyone has that one word they can’t say so I can completely relate! Skip to 3:15 to see the penguin part.

*** All rights reserved to the producers of the video.

And here is a funny picture:

Picture taken from: http://wallpaper-gallery.net/single/happy-pics/happy-pics-1.html

Picture taken from: http://wallpaper-gallery.net/single/happy-pics/happy-pics-1.html

Have a good day everyone! Get out there and create some smiles and positive change and be part of a Powered Crowd!

UPDATE:

I finished the day with 16 smiles! More than 3/4 of them from strangers. This was succeeded by the following: Paying for the coffee of the person before me, complements, telling family members why I loved them,giving a helping hand with picking things up etc…

I loved doing this and will have to do it again soon. I try everyday to spread smiles but doing this challenges you to be creative and look at things in a new way. For example smiling at a store clerk is so easy but not many people do it. Take a look around and see the multiple opportunities to share some smiles!