The Dam recently published a newsletter for Spring 2013 focusing specifically on mentoring. I was asked to write a piece for the cover which I thought I would share here as well.
Hope you enjoy!
Scrooge is perhaps the most classic of Christmas tales. A man, obsessed by greed and selfishness experiences a moment of transformation. It is a tale that sparks the hope that change is possible. Greed and selfishness are like a disease that twist bitterness in a person’s spirit and create desperate loneliness and tear the heart apart. However, there is hope for something different. Generosity and love can take hold and free a person from the chains of greed.
I’m a pretty normal person in this regard; I like it when people like me, I don’t like it when people don’t like me.
This pretty normal fact about me however runs directly counter to a commitment that I have made to attempt to tell the truth as I see it. This commitment is particular to those general societal or cultural trends that run directly counter to principles of love, mercy and justice.
I stumbled across this piece of art today that was put together inspired by Mumford and Sons song, After the Storm.
Whenever we get an opportunity to see as brave and living and human, those who are regularly dehumanized, let's take it!
Here is a simple and succinct look at why, across the wealthy world, people are taking to the streets to demand change. There is not always a clear goal, but one theme that unites those who have chosen to occupy cities in their countries to demand change; something better is possible.
Recently I was speaking at a Gr. 9 retreat, an event geared towards giving them an enthusiastic and positive start to their high school experience. I did the 20 dollar bill exercise with them (which you can find here) and commented, “We, as a society, have done a better job of recognizing the value of money than we have at recognizing the value of the people around us.” Much to my surprise one young man in the group reacted immediately with a loud, “So?!” that could be heard throughout the room.
The summer after Grade 10 I started dating a Turkish girl. She didn’t know this, but I was absolutely mesmerized by her. I thought that she was so beautiful and I couldn’t believe that she was interested in me. I had spent so much of my life being the chubby kid who got called ‘friend’ by the girls quite a bit. Now, in a relationship with this gorgeous girl, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I was very shy with my body (embarrassed really, I still saw myself as the fat kid).
I loved being a big brother. Sure, I did some of the regular teasing that older brothers do, but for the most part, I always cared very deeply for my little sister. I felt responsible for her, even as a 4 year old when she was just a baby, I would worry about her getting hurt and something happening to her. Later, I cared about who she would become, what kind of choices she would make… I was certain that she was going to be someone GREAT!
It has been said that in most circumstances people don’t change unless they feel that the pain of staying the same has become greater than the pain of change.
I thought about this again after seeing 127 Hours, which just came out on Blu-ray and DVD yesterday. The movie is based on a true story about Aron Ralston, played by James Franco, who finds himself in dire circumstances in the middle of nowhere on one of his many hiking, exploring and mountain climbing expeditions.
Let's not pass over what has happened, and is happening in Egypt too quickly. The Egyptian Revolution has been a defining moment in our history. There is too much for us to be inspired by here, to keep this revolution going! Egypt has given me even more hope for our future. We need to tap into the passion of the Egyptian protests so that we can become part of a movement for change ourselves.