Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vancouver Riots - What Were They Thinking?

The answer to the question in the title above is, of course, nothing. Rioting erupted almost immediately following the 4-0 loss of Vancouver to Boston in the Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver's downtown. In a place that, only last year, hosted weeks of peaceful celebration of the Olympic Games, now there were cars burning, the sound of windows shattering and, eventually, the stinging of tear gas.

Reading the reports and watching the numerous videos popping up on-line, I was disgusted by the total depravity demonstrated by so many. I recognize that the real troublemakers were only a small majority of the crowd, but the large number obviously enjoying the mayhem was very disturbing. The results of a few minutes of idiocy remain to be seen, but the obvious outcomes were a diminished reputation for Vancouver in particular and Canada in general.

Why did this happen? A lot of people are asking this question today. Many average Vancouverites admitted to being "ashamed of their city" and "scared" as a direct result of the violence. Was it just anger and frustration being expressed over the series loss by the Canucks? Was it an outpouring of pent up disenchantment at society as a whole - a continuation, if you like, of the G-20 demonstrations?

We'll likely never know. What it does reveal is a horrible lack of impulse control by the 20-somethings of Vancouver. Regardless of whether there were anarchist provocateurs, as some claim, it still takes a lot of willingly compliant people to cause the kind of willful destruction we saw. It also reflects a shocking lack of shame.

In an age of instant communication and you-tube videos, you have to wonder about the thought processes of those lighting cars on fire and smashing windows while others stand back videotaping. Is it that there is no sense of consequences for their actions? That somehow no-one will ever find out? Or is it that they simply do not care?

There were heroes in the group. There were several who placed themselves in harms way to prevent thugs from breaking windows and looting. When one mob attacked one of these good citizens, others came to his defense. And today, many took to those same streets to help with the clean up.

I guess these events were really a micro-cosm of life. Some respond to disappointment with self-destructive behavior. They will, maybe, eventually wake up and realize that they acted like tantrum-throwing toddlers. Some reacted to the disturbers by happily joining in the lunacy, kind of a "Lord of the Flies" tribal think. Some saw the rioting start and immediately made a bee-line for safer streets. Others sized up the situation, determined the proper course of action, and tried to make a positive difference. What would you have done? There's the question.

Here's an idea: let's track down the guilty and deal with them, setting an example. But, probably more important, let's track down the heroes who actually stood against the mob and did the right thing! Let's honour those young people who acted like we would hope our kids would act if they were there.

I've included a couple of videos below as a reminder of the events. Let's hope that this is never repeated in Canada, it's not something of which we can be proud.

Related Articles:

I Love Me!
Minding Our Manners

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wanted: Best Friend

I got this from Michael Hyatt. I think it makes a good starting point. He used it in an article on how to become your spouse's best friend. What would you consider to be the qualities to look for in a real best friend? By the way, I'm glad to say that I have several people like this in my life. I hope you do as well. Feel free to share.

Wanted: Best Friend
Prospective candidates will:

•Make me feel good about being me.
•Affirm my best qualities (especially when I am feeling insecure)
•Call out the best in me, and hold me accountable to the best version of myself.
•Listen without judging or trying to fix me.
•Give me the benefit of the doubt.
•Extend grace to me when I am grumpy or having a bad day.
•Remember my birthday, favorite foods, music, and art.
•Know my story and love me regardless.
•Spend time with me, just because they enjoy my company.
•Speak well of me when I am not present.
•Serve me with a joyful spirit and without complaining.
•Speak the truth to me when no one else will.
•Never shame me, diminish me, or make me feel small.
•Become excited about what I am excited about.
•Celebrate my wins!

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Incredible Flying Car

Many of you would have heard of the missionaries who were killed by the Waodani tribe in Ecuador in 1956. The tribe went on to become Christians and adopted Steve Saint, the son of Nate Saint, the missionary pilot who was one of those killed. Nate invented this car, with the hopes that it will help natives have access to emergency health care. It has a top land speed of at least 95 mph, and air speed of 40 mph.

I wanted to be able to show you a different video with Steve talking about his invention, but couldn't embed the video. So, instead, I've pasted the URL below. Copy and paste this in your browser to watch that video. It's quite a story.

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Unsung Heroes - Ralph Edmund

Friday, June 03, 2011

A Case For Israel

Over the last few weeks we've seen the pressure mount on Israel to move their borders back to pre-1967 boundaries. President Obama has stated that it's the starting point for negotiations and nations are lining up at the U.N. against Israel once again. Glad to see Prime Minister Harper take a stand in defense of Israel. Canada may be one of the few friends Israel has in the world. Watch the video below. I think they make a pretty good case for keeping secure borders.

Related Articles:
An Open Letter To Stephen Harper
Think For Yourself! Don't Get Stuck in a "Filter Bubble"