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?

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

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

Shoulders Squared: Celebrating Gender Equality in Canada

Looking back…How did we get from 1967 to 2017, from young girls to women, in an age that promised gender equality yet didn’t, really, take down the practical barriers?  The answer, for me, lies in a fervent belief that our dignity was innate, that our sense of worth was never in question. …

This is tricky. Power, alone, doesn’t work…power without love is cold and ruthless. It is power ‘over’ others which can easily erode their dignity. And, love, alone, doesn’t work either. Love without power is polite, conflict avoiding and can undermine your own dignity or that of others if you create victims. … More Shoulders Squared: Celebrating Gender Equality in Canada

When You Can’t Go Home

What moves me, listening to Dr. Al-Guneid tell his story, is his commitment to preserve his own sense of dignity, whatever the circumstances. What is most deeply disturbing, is taking in how this family, or any displaced family, bears the weight of not-knowing. He has lost access to the sovereignty of his home country. Without a sense of this being temporary or permanent, how then do people actually settle? … More When You Can’t Go Home