{June 28, 2010}   "Anyway" by Mother Theresa

My pastor read this at church this morning … it absolutely touched my soul and I wanted to share.

Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

{June 28, 2010}   Disappointment

The G20 and G8 meetings were held here in Canada, in the Toronto ON area this weekend. And let me say, I am highly disappointed in how they came off.

First and foremost I am disappointed in the group of protesters who got violent – who decided that the weekend was more about destroying than building; more about drowning out others’ messages than elevating one of their own. They make those of us who believe in the protest movement look bad, and have to defend ourselves all the more vigorously when we go to stand, walk or otherwise act on behalf of something we believe in. Anyone else I may criticize, these people are first and foremost responsible – to say otherwise is to say a rape victim ‘asks for it’ because she’s dressed too provocatively, or a strict teacher ‘asks for’ tough students because she/he is just daring them to lash back at their rules.

I am disappointed in the mixed reports I hear about the police response – either too strong or too weak, depending on the telling. Having said that, though, let me state that is not outright disappointment in law enforcement itself … as I still have such a deep respect for the job they have, and an understanding that as soon as the protest got violent there was a no-win situation for any law enforcement officer; I commend them for doing their best under the most difficult situation.

I am also disappointed in our Conservative government for spending a ridiculous sum of money which ended up being ineffective as Toronto’s downtown burned and/or came to a standstill. When it obviously didn’t do the job it was intended, I’d have rather seen less money, more efficiently spent. If we expect to be taken seriously on the world stage and respected as the lovely, welcoming people we are … we need to do a stronger job to live up to our reputation in future.

{June 24, 2010}   Foot-In-Mouth Disease

So we’re back from Disney World and our awesome family vacation in Orlando – I will be posting a blog about that shortly, Ari and I are in the process of writing our vacation up together to forward to family and put up on Facebook, and I’ll post it here when we’re done – but in the meantime I wanted to address some US politics stuff I was following while down stateside.

Apparently, there’s a serious case of putting one’s foot in it going on down there. First you have Congressman Joe Barton of Texas apologizing to BP, characterizing the escrow fund they have established at President Obama’s behest (in order to cover damages, fees, etc. that might come up) as a shakedown, and a reprehensible punishment to private industry at the hands of government. No consequences here, minus a semi-forced apology and retraction later on, as Barton keeps his seat as the ranking Republican on the congressional oversight committee, but nonetheless as someone who roots for the Democrats to keep the upper hand for the time being anyway and actually bring some accountability both to Washington and more particularly, yes, to private industry which has an amazingly tough time policing itself apparently, thrilled at the strategy, as characterized on MSNBC last week, to simply let GOPers talk. They will dig their own grave every time.

Politically speaking, the sight of one of their most prominent representatives apologizing to the company responsible, due to an atrocious lack of adherence to safety and environmental standards, for the greatest environmental disaster in US history, is priceless. From a heart-and-soul standpoint, I know which part I tend to think is more interested in doing the right thing with the widest array of best interests at heart – and anytime the ‘other guys’ show their stripes and reveal their true priorities to the public, is an important moment for honest and accoutability.

Meanwhile over on the military end of things, we have Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a very smart military man but obviously not wise to the ways of politics or the media, allowing a Rolling Stone reporter to cover him for 4 weeks, including at drunken moments involving McChrystal and his men criticizing both his Commander in Chief Barack Obama, and other (civilian) members of the administration, revealing a rift long understood in circles in the know, between military personnel and the non-military folks who make the decisions for them. Now I know people both involved in politics, and with involvement in the military – I think people with expertise in both need to be involved in wartime decision making, and I respect the contributions of both sides to both national and worldwide security, and I would be loath to suggest who contributes more – one contributes ideas, one contributes manpower and lives. All take great risks and work incredibly hard to get done what needs to get done.

That said – rightly or wrongly, the United States has a civilian-run military, and all members of said military are answerable to the President of the United States – currently Barack Obama. Ideas can be exchanged, dissent expressed, discussions had; but for the sake of military efficiency, strength, and unity, once in public, all military personnel must express dedication, if not outright support, to the goals of their CIC, and respect the chain of command – of which Obama is currently top dog. McChrystal has skated for a very long time publicly airing grievances with Obama and other decision-makers in his cabinet. He has covered up friendly fire incidents and incidents of possible torture; and while he is one of the great fathers of counterinsurgency strategy, so important to the wars currently being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, that does not mean he has the right to leak documents or speak ill (truly ill) of his superiors, or the task(s) he has been assigned.

One of the great quandaries of the military, is that their job is to fight for democracy, while not actually really being able to be one themselves. There is an incredibly rigid chain of command, and freedom of speech in this instance does not, unfortunately, apply quite to the extent it might for civilians. Orders are given and ultimately taken, and there is no room for verbal gaffes. Unfortunately, Gen. McChrystal learned the hard way to leave those to the politicians, like Joe Barton.

{June 16, 2010}   My Bags are Packed …

So it’s needless to say been a busy week with the school year ending tomorrow (lots of deadlines), as well as an early-morning flight to Florida. But I did want to check in and say I hope I haven’t lost y’all for being so quiet, and it will be quiet for a time still again I suspect as we leave tomorrow and I haven’t decided yet whether or not to bring my laptop, and even if I do, whether I will use it for much more than unloading my digital camera at day’s end. It’s been an up and down month or two I’m afraid with an irregular schedule and loads to do – we’ve gotten back on track over at In This Very Ring, but not so much here on my personal blog. So please rest assured starting mid-next week, I will be back, posting more often, and trying more variety as well – going back to talking some politics, some pop culture … and of course, more Little Tyke, and the adventures of our little Family of 3. Until then be well and remember … It’s a Small World After All! 😀

{June 11, 2010}   One Week

And this is where we’ll be! Liam’s first trip, our 5th wedding anniversary, and Father’s Day … it’s going to be, well … Magical. 🙂 So excited. Cannot wait. And appreciate my parents a bazillion times over for chipping in together for such a fantastic and phenomenal gift.

{June 8, 2010}   My New Addiction

So I know I’m a little late to the game on this one – chalk it up that its heydey was the 4-5 years I really didn’t have TV or watch much of it as I was off at university – but Ari and I bought a discounted first season DVD set of The West Wing and have been hooked since. We’re starting on the third season within an episode or two and it is absolutely phenomenal. A great series if anyone is looking for compelling television, which, while it seems to be making a comeback today in the form of Glee, the Good Wife, and so on, has been a bit lacking in recent years. Be sure and check out President and Mrs. Bartlet, Sam, Toby, Josh, CJ, Leo, Donna, Charlie and Ainsley at any opportunity you can. It’s good stuff.

{June 6, 2010}   This N That
  1. My son is such a narcissist. He is more likely to kiss mirrors than Mommy and Daddy these days. Although I consider it a good sign that he says “Baby” while gazing lovingly at himself these days. 🙂
  2. He also is a lady’s man, as evidenced by his approaching, hugging and kissing a strange girl out at the indoor playground we frequent this afternoon.
  3. He is also, despite being way to young for this, already sexually confused – he did the same thing to a little boy about 5 minutes earlier.
  4. In some non-LT news … we are less than two weeks out from (a) our trip to Florida, and (b) our 5th wedding anniversary. How awesome-possum is that?
  5. Some happy birthdays going out to my girlfriend Alex, and her little man Racer -> who is in Florida now and I’m sure having a lovely time with his grandma. 🙂
  6. Lastly – it has been a pretty rough couple of days around here and while I don’t particularly feel like sharing the whys and wherefores, I do feel like sharing that my husband and my mother have stepped up in a bazillion ways and supported me through them. While I try to be strong and supportive of others, it is so nice to have a team of my own … and thanks you both. XO

{June 3, 2010}   Little Tyke is BACK!

After a couple weeks where our little boy has not entirely fully been himself – first from teething, and then from illness, and only about 5-6 weeks after another, even more serious bout of illness – I am pleased to announce that for the first time really in about a month, our Little Tyke is back to being his smiley, happy, lovely little self, the ray of sunshine who lights up our, his grandparents’, and his babysitter’s life.

Now – anyone who would have seen LT over the last month or so would say that if THAT’S what we call a cranky, sick or teething baby, then we are incredibly fortunate. And we are. He’s been a gem nonetheless, still playful, still smiling. But the last few days it’s like any vestiges of having slowed down at all, or the wattage of his smile having dimmed a tad, have been done away with.

Welcome back LT! 🙂

et cetera