We’ve Added PODCASTS to 7 Ideas for Life: An Antidote to Polarity!

We’re delighted you enjoy reading our series, 7 Ideas for Life: An Antidote to Polarity.

Now, you can listen to them too! We’ve added podcasts to complement our written articles.

More We’ve Added PODCASTS to 7 Ideas for Life: An Antidote to Polarity!

Repost from CBC: Albertans Don’t Play the Victim Card Lightly

The structure that has held us together is in Canada coming apart. We’re at a defining moment for our energy — the energy economy, and our energy as a people.

What do you think we can do? 

More Repost from CBC: Albertans Don’t Play the Victim Card Lightly

NEW PODCAST > Idea #1: Step up, shoulders squared

Promised you 7 Ideas for Life: An Antidote to Polarity
Well, here is Idea # 1: Step up, shoulders squared.

 To step up, with your shoulders squared, is to accept that there are people in the world who want you on their side of a polarized issue.

It’s a reminder to yourself that there is a personal responsibility here, to see those dichotomies.

And, it means you are prepared to at least consider when you want to take on the burden of wading into the debate.  … More NEW PODCAST > Idea #1: Step up, shoulders squared

NEW PODCAST > 7 Ideas for Life: An Antidote to Polarity

Are you tired of living in an either-or world? Weary of people taking rigid, polarized positions. Done with being manipulated.
Angry at being put in a victim position, imposed upon, spoken for, and assumed.
Then we have some ideas for you! 7 Ideas for Life: An Antidote to Polarity. … More NEW PODCAST > 7 Ideas for Life: An Antidote to Polarity

Play Ping-Pong & Build Legacy

Nobody thinks ‘medium-term’.
Generally, we think short-term. Occasionally, long-term.
When you have short term in one hand, and long term in the other, there are trade-offs. But it’s not like you think ‘short-term’ Monday to Friday, and longer-term on the weekend.

So, how do people do this? How do you hold short-term & long-term in both hands, at the same time?

More Play Ping-Pong & Build Legacy

Repost from CBC: My father’s death, and why we all need to think about what we cost the health-care system

In the midst of my personal grieving, I’m grateful to a health-care system that made my father comfortable in his dying days. He didn’t feel vulnerable. He wasn’t a specimen on a table. He died with dignity.

I am thankful for a system where other people helped pay the price to make that happen. At yet, at the same time, I recognize we can and must create a better system. We need to face reality, but face it together — let’s open up a real conversation.

When it comes to our health-care system here in Alberta, we have choices. We are confronted with hard choices. Collectively, and individually. We can keep pussy-footing around and hope things just get better.

Or we can recognize our blind spots, and take steps in the direction of improving how we actually deliver health care in our province.

But to do so, we must, must, move beyond the way we currently frame the discussion. We need new ideas in the marketplace of ideas. We Albertans need to think about our personal, individual costs to the system. And we also need the marketplace. … More Repost from CBC: My father’s death, and why we all need to think about what we cost the health-care system

Skin in the game

I admire people who put their necks on the line, and share risks. I don’t admire people who try to push off risks, unfairly, to other people. Or people who fake having real skin in the game. And, I get downright formidable when someone with legitimate skin in the game is exploited by someone with no skin in the game, at all.
What skin do you have in the game? Who else has genuine skin in the game, and who doesn’t? And, if someone with no skin in the game is trying to exploit you, here are some ideas! … More Skin in the game

Steeling Up for Slippery Slopes

If you are a Canadian right now (and maybe an American too), you may want to gag. 25% tariffs on steel unless you renegotiate NAFTA the way I want, says Trump.
What can we do? Well, I’m going to suggest something a little old-fashioned. Let’s be prudent. That doesn’t mean we’re uncertain about what’s right. It means being scrupulous about finding the best means to get where we want to go. … More Steeling Up for Slippery Slopes

Un-Canadian #Un🍁

Canada celebrated its 150th birthday last year. Compare what we have to other places, and you’d be hard-pressed not to be grateful. Yet there is a risk that our country will become un-Canadian. Maybe not intentionally. But out of neglect. Out of indifference.  Or our habit of identifying ourselves in contrast to the Americans. 

Lately, I’ve found myself frustrated by happenings in Canada, to Canada, and by Canadians. I’m seeing self-inflicted wounds. Increasingly, I’ve been pointing it out, tagging acts as #Un-Canadian in my Twitter feed and Facebook posts. 

To illustrate, let me share some of what’s, in my humble opinion, un-Canadian. And, I’d like to hear from fellow-Canadians. What are you seeing? Heck, I’d like to hear from anyone with an opinion on what’s happening to Canada & Canadians.

Are we suffering some sort of identity-crisis? Is this something to worry about, or to embrace as growth? … More Un-Canadian #Un🍁

Re-calibrating the power of guns

All those “if you aren’t with us, you’re against us” people in the world want you to pick a side in this battle over guns. Their side. Ban all guns vs. Arm everyone.

I’m suggesting something a little more creative. Give it a shot! … More Re-calibrating the power of guns

Female, feminist & formidable

We’re in the middle of gender chaos right now, hell for some. There are so many facts flying, it’s hard to make sense of it all. I’m a feminist and a female. I should feel formidable. Some moments I do. But my feelings are mixed. … More Female, feminist & formidable

Capital D: Dad, Duty, Dignity

My father is motivated by a super-sized sense of Duty. He’s just been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. He’s chosen quality of life over quantity of life.

As our family moves into full-on palliative care, I’m thinking about this overwhelming sense of Duty that drives my father. Where did it come from? Is it like cancer—in all of us but only manifests in some?

What motivates any of us? It’s a question I’ve been asking for decades.
More Capital D: Dad, Duty, Dignity

Fantasy League: Drafting the “Eh” Team

No slight intended to the REAL Canadian trade negotiators…but here’s a fantasy league that may be fun. If you were the general manager of Canada’s trade team, who would you draft? … More Fantasy League: Drafting the “Eh” Team

Cradling Joy & Sadness in both hands

My 30-year-old son is to be married on New Year’s Eve, to a woman we all adore.

And my 82-year-old father has just been told there’s a 99% likelihood he has lung cancer. The growth in his left lung so vast, the upper part of his lung has collapsed.
How do I hold such intense joy and such intense sadness? Together. In both hands. At the same time. … More Cradling Joy & Sadness in both hands

Darwin’s Curse: evolve or perish

In Calgary, we’ve laid out the red carpet for Amazon. We’re hoping to lure Silicon Valley types to our cooler stretch of the Rockies. I’m encouraged by this. Not just because we need their tax dollars and jobs, we recognize that we need a strong infusion of risk-taking DNA. Sometimes we get bound up in our peace, order & good government roots.

In my crystal ball, I see Albertans remembering how to strive together, take risks, compete. … More Darwin’s Curse: evolve or perish

Repost from CBC News: The sexist language of politics: Both men and women need to change

“We can’t call men out, and then use sex or sexist language back at them,” writes former MLA Donna Kennedy Glans. “I don’t encourage women to grow a thicker skin. To lighten up. But I do encourage them to observe their reactions to both sexist criticism and fawning adoration. To be wary of both. To … More Repost from CBC News: The sexist language of politics: Both men and women need to change

Black Friday: I’m not buying it!

I’m not buying it!
Companies tout themselves as ‘sustainable’. Then dare to sell me consumer goods designed to be obsolete in an all-too-short while.
I’m fighting back! … More Black Friday: I’m not buying it!

Brain Health: Of course we can do better

My great-grandfather Maurice Elliott died in 1944 after the uninsured barn on their farm burned to the ground. He left behind his widow and nine children.  

Only as an adult did I come to know his death was a suicide. It wasn’t my grandmother or father who told me. For them, it was a deeply buried secret. 

We now have the science available to look at someone’s brain in an MRI and diagnose whether or not that person is depressed.  

With other health challenges—cancer, heart disease, kidney stones–we rely on diagnostic tools and trust the science.

How do we get to that same level of certainty and acceptance with brain health? … More Brain Health: Of course we can do better

Who is making your decisions?

Making or influencing or blocking a decision that affects others is a big deal. It’s a choice, a skill and a responsibility. Marrying dignity to decision-making is an investment not only in the humanity of our choices, but also in the potential of actually getting something done, of actually moving forward. … More Who is making your decisions?

CBC Repost: Conservative, Liberal, Progressive? How to define yourself without labels

Originally published November 4th 2017 Conservative, Liberal, Progressive? How to define yourself without labels CBC Report: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/donna-kennedy-glans-calgary-future-road-ahead-political-identity-1.4387347

Let’s make #MeToo a hashtag for ordinary women

Let’s make this moment about ordinary people.
Let’s make #MeToo more than a Hollywood moment.

No, I’m not stepping forward to dredge up the sordid details of my stories of sexual harassment and intimidation for inspection. Is there a female alive who hasn’t experienced a creepy power play by a male, one with sexual overtones? This blog is about 1) what’s triggering the opening of  #MeToo floodgates; 2) how this phenomenal level of damned up exploitation happened in plain sight without bystander knowledge and intervention; and 3) what can all of us, females and males, do to prevent #MeToo turning into a manhunt that wipes out the potential for constructive, trusting relationships between ordinary women and men. There is so much at stake here.   … More Let’s make #MeToo a hashtag for ordinary women

Dignity and the Sicilian Mafia

The Mafia is still alive in Sicily, Italy. And people are fighting back. This blog takes a look at modern-day Sicily, and their transition from an honour culture to a dignity culture.
More Dignity and the Sicilian Mafia

Angry White Men as the Victims

Remember Archie Bunker? The lovable bigot in All in the Family TV series who was suspicious of blacks, Hispanics, “commies”, gays, hippies, Jews, Catholics, “women’s libbers” and Polish-Americans? Imagine his response if someone told Bunker to “check his privilege”. Even more amusing, imagine if someone tried to cast Bunker as a victim!

Trump promised the forgotten he would restore lost honour. Turning angry white men into victims isn’t restoring their honour or their dignity. Trump has replaced pride with self-pity. He’s turning these Americans upside-down!

Compassion unfolds when your resonance with someone’s distress leads you to actually do something to help. Right now, our capacity for compassion seems blunted by the shrill cries of “victimhood”.  … More Angry White Men as the Victims

Nuclear War: Do we have wiggle room?

Anxiety has a biological purpose. It awakens our senses and makes us alive to imminent threats. In anxious times, people seem to fall victim to either utopias or catastrophe. Jurgen Moltmann, author of Ethics of Hope explains: “In the exuberance of hope, the temptation is utopianism; in fear, the temptation is alarmism.” Neither of these polarized responses work.

Moltmann suggests we figure out how to recognize and advance peace even while conflict exists. He defines reconciliation as “the peace which makes it possible for us, in the midst of strife, to bring the conflict to a just end.”

I’ve been thinking about reconciliation a lot lately, in the context of First Nations in Canada and communities in Yemen. Reconciliation is challenging to define, and even harder to achieve. I’m intrigued by Moltmann’s description. … More Nuclear War: Do we have wiggle room?

Pride & Uncle Arnold

Not everyone may be qualified to walk in a politically-torqued pride parade.

Getting behind friends and family —and even strangers—facing cultural, faith and community barriers in their sexual choices, that’s an everyday action. No need for external accreditation to do this work. No need for a parade. You just do it. … More Pride & Uncle Arnold

Work & Dignity

What does work mean to you? How has work shaped who you are and how you think about yourself?

Business risk-taking is increasingly institutionalized, often via detailed policies, and the discretion of individual workers is constrained. To the outsider, the result can look like rigid, inflexible, intransigent attitudes by employees. To the insider, the tight reins can diminish an employee’s sense of self-worth.

Imagine the potential if the dignity of workers within large companies could be recovered on a system-wide basis. … More Work & Dignity

Chautauqua Revival

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig describes a 17-day journey of father and son across the U.S., on secondary roads where possible, as a sort of Chautauqua:

“Like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America…an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer.”

We now live in an uber-plugged in world. Citizens anywhere can access the outside world at will. And yet the idea of a Chautauqua, going on the road to visit these remote and isolated places, is appealing. I’ve been re-reading Wallace Stegner’s Wolf Willow, his story of growing up in the Cypress Hills in pioneer days. And I’m drawn to know more about these wild and difficult places, their all-encompassing sacredness and how people live in their midst. Alberta and Saskatchewan are going through tough times right now, and we’ve been through tough times before. Beyond the highlights in glossy tourist brochures, I want to understand this landscape and learn what it has to share about living in the West and about progress and resiliency.

This is my Chautauqua. … More Chautauqua Revival

Preserving Dignity in Uncertain Times

Understandably, one of the reactions to times of great uncertainty and to any attack – whether real or perceived- is an increased receptivity to top-down direction and powerful leadership, for example, forceful security measures to counter terrorists or even aggressive tweets in the attempt to deter rogue states threatening nuclear war. We want someone to fix the problem! And, yet, in addition to the minor indignities, the hassle of security checks at airports, there are serious implications for personal dignity that we are wise to consider before being seduced into avoiding or succumbing to the turbulent emotions that accompany uncertainty. … More Preserving Dignity in Uncertain Times

Sleeping with an Elephant

We are indoctrinated to believe that relationships are full of drama; in fact we have entire industries built up around soap operas and reality television, and our news and history books reinforce a continual story of good vs bad, stronger and weaker, the conqueror and the vanquished. These opposing forces feed competition and a fear of being left behind, whether you are the bullied or the bully, with someone just waiting to take your spot. A healthy relationship, what I’m calling graceful, is made up of shared power, mutuality and belonging, and inherent value or dignity.

Shared power is fed by free expression, by being whom and what you are, and not by being what you think you should be or a limited version of yourself. Belonging is fueled by connection, by understanding and forgiving ignorance and transcending differences.  Finally, dignity is the simple recognition that despite any differences, there is an unconditional value to human beings as individuals, and collectively, including as citizens of a country. This value is honoured when we allow people and nations to have their own power, when we don’t try to solve all their problems for them, when we mind our own business as well as we do others.

In super-simplified terms, Canadians could potentially benefit from a more explicit sense of self and Americans a more explicit sense of other. By working together we expand the capacity of our citizens to continue the still young legacy of leading in the world. … More Sleeping with an Elephant

Protectionism, Global Trade and Finding Our Dignity in a Bottle of Ketchup!

What I’m wondering about is the effect of “America first” on how we, as Canadians, see our own economy, and choices. We can:

1. Respond in kind, with our Canadian brand of national pride.  “Canada first!”  With honour and pride, it’s our reputation that makes us honourable or proud and we have to respond, aggressively, to aggressors, or risk losing that sense of worth. Revenge, retribution, vendettas, and ‘Tit-for-Tat’ reactions, are expected.

2. Be the victim. Be a David to the American Goliath. Attract global sympathy, not by emphasizing either our own strength or inner worth as Canadians, but by complaining about the America-first trade aggressions. Focus on our powerlessness.

3. Act with dignity. Operate from the belief that all people, and arguably, by extension nations, have dignity, inherent worth that exists independently of what others think. Yes, insults and attacks can try to take away our dignity as Canadians but, we can choose to exercise self-restraint in the game of “Tit-For-Tat” and direct our energy to negotiating agreements that reaffirm the soundness of Canada as a strong and resource-full trading nation. In any circumstance, we can act as masters of our own fate. … More Protectionism, Global Trade and Finding Our Dignity in a Bottle of Ketchup!