Courtesy: Heath (Iheefz) Chicago Photography
It rained … all . day . long …
Enough rain to warrant carrying an umbrella. And Lawd knows how I hate carrying my huge umbrella anywhere. But this morning it was necessary because we had to travel in . the . rain.
A few days ago, hubby mentioned his graduation ceremony was coming up but he wasn’t expecting me to attend because it was, in his words, “long and boring!” The topic came back up the other night and he once again intoned that he wasn’t expecting me to go … and I replied “Why Wouldn’t I??? ”
Two years work. Watching him toil night and day pounding out his thesis and defense for his M.A. I went to his defense. We were all so proud of him. And so today was the culmination of all that work, a 15 second walk across a stage in front of his peers to get his M.A. Diploma.
The program opened with bagpipes, piping in the graduates, then the faculty.
And One very special man – LtGen. The Honorable Romeo A. Dallaire (Ret’d), O.C. ,CMM,GOQ, MSC,CD, B.ES., LLD , Senator.
He was presented with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters.
And he gave a short speech for the graduates and encouraged them to step up and be change in Canada. Because in politics and government, he spoke, they have not risen to their ultimate abilities.
2017, is a special date and there are a confluence of dates and events, anniversaries and commemorations that will come during 2017, and Canada does not have a plan to mark the occasions.
Offering questions in the Senate and to the M.P’s in Parliament, what is the plan and what are we going to do ? the answer was – We Don’t Know !!!
This is our time to rise. To become active in the affairs of the nation be it in your community, your home, your job or your country, He encouraged us all to become change.
He spoke a bit about the children in Rwanda and the deaths and situations he witnessed. He spoke of a young boy, sitting in the road there in Rwanda distended, poor and in need (in a bad way), looked in those boys eyes, and the vision of his sons eyes came to mind.
He encouraged us to go abroad and work in developing countries. To see, witness, feel and participate in the lives of those who need more than they have today. They have very little, compared to the have’s and the have not’s in the developed world.
It was a tall request. But not out of reach. If you know where to look.
I know of people in Europe and the U.K. who actually go to Africa and other trouble spots in the developing world to work for charities helping those who need it most.
It is part of Gap Year work, Charity work, and just a great character building exercise to spend time in a place that will change the person you are, just by your presence.
We don’t often think about traveling so far away – it isn’t a North America thought, just because it is “over there” out of sight, out of mind.
But numbers of Canadians do great work in Africa and areas beyond.
If I could do it, I would. But the time needs to be right.
*** *** *** ***
Once hubby did his walk across the stage, he was in the first two rows of graduates, he texted me. I was sitting about ten rows behind him on the aisle so we could make a quick getaway. The ceremony started at 3 p.m. and I needed to be at the church at 5, so we made our way out shortly after the B.A.’s started their march to the stage.
We took some photos with his cape and gown and degree for his parents, turned in his robes, and we came home. We got back around 4:30. And I was back out the door at quarter to Five.
And . It . Rained …
I arrived at the church, a little damp and the hall was a bit damp and cold. I cranked out chairs and tables. My sponsor showed up a few minutes after I arrived to make coffee and help with set up.
Little gift …
At the roundup a couple of weeks ago, all the shares were taped for mass consumption and sold on site. For quite a chunk of money. So a few folks bought a master copy of all the shares. And now they have been duplicated and are being shared amongst us.
I had mentioned that I wanted a copy of them, and one of our sober women did the duplicates and brought them to the meeting tonight. But there were a few women who have not heard them, like we got to hear them live, so I told her to give them to someone who hasn’t heard them yet before I get them.
I was sitting in my chair waiting for folks to show up and one of my friends came up and handed me a cd, with all the shares and more on it. Just because !
Then I was standing near our literature table talking to some folks, and my sponsor walked up and had a gift for me. He was given a cache of Big Books and other texts we use regularly. And from a private collection, he has already given me a copy of the original manuscript of the Big Book. Tonight he had another book for me … A Second Edition of the Big Book.
Which has an extra large collection of stories in the back of the book.
There are four editions of the Big Book in circulation. First editions are rare and cost a pretty penny. Seconds and Thirds are in circulation. But for the most part, unless you need a 2 or 3, Inter-group sells Fourth Editions, solely.
The Book, Experience, Strength and Hope is a collection of stories from Editions 1 , 2 and 3. We read that book on Sunday Nights some time ago.
But now I get to read all the stories from the book in the Second Edition.
The meeting was packed. Which was good. Lots of newcomers. And great opportunities for our girls to get out there and pound the pavement.
We read from Living Sober, page 10 – Live and Let Live …
A good topic. Lots of good shares. Many people all over the place on the slogans.
Live and Let Live
Easy Does It
But for the Grace of God
Think, Think, Think
First things First
You see them posted at every meeting we go to in the city. Keeping our side of the street clean. Not getting into other folks drama. What people think of me is none of my business. I am powerless over people, places and things.
I can’t change you – I can only change me.
And people are struggling with this slogan. On a daily basis.
It was a good night. Fun was had. I walked home.
A good day over all Me thinks.
More to come, stay tuned…
We are days away from Thanksgiving in the United States. Since Canada is a few months ahead on the schedule, holiday decorations are up and holiday music is playing in the malls. The weather is crisp but no snow as of yet.
Here in Canada, I’ve read stories of people sharing random acts of kindness with their fellow man at several Tim Horton’s by the by. And this informs this post I am writing now.
There is always a chance to act kindly towards friends, fellows and those who might need a little cheer. It doesn’t take much.
A friend, the other day wrote a post about Cancer Warriors on his blog, and I know that as soon as I post this entry, it will appear on his blog.
I have a friend who is a member of my home group, and has been a friend for all the years I have lived in Montreal. Over the past year, life has changed for him as he is in his 70’s now and he has been struck with cancer.
This is the second friend I have walked through cancer with over the past decade or so. And I see him several times a week at meetings and the other night I invited him along to watch the Bill W. movie with my sponsor.
I spoke to him today and he was so happy that we took him along and that he was able to attend the film with friends, and not by himself.
It was nothing really. I just thought that he might enjoy the outing and so he did.
It’s the little things that mean so much to people.
So as we approach Thanksgiving in the U.S. how will you employ the fine act of kindness to your fellow man and woman? A meal is the greatest place to share kindness with fellows. Breaking Bread is the most important act of sharing in community.
As the holiday’s approach I remind you that there are millions of people in need and they are right there under our noses. The homeless and the disadvantaged, the poor and the lost.
There are thousands of homeless kids all over America and here in Canada.
So if you are moved this holiday season to find a kiosk that helps people, spend a buck or two and help another, just because you can. You never know how you will be able to lend a hand.
Look around your community and see what needs are there. Especially those in the North East and New York and New Jersey. So many people are hurting and may not get the chance to celebrate at home a real thanksgiving.
While parades march down the mall in New York City next week, right up the street are people who won’t be celebrating but trying to figure out where they are going to go, where to find their next meal and find fuel and new places to call home.
Buy someone a coffee in line behind or in front of you. Buy a meal for someone on the street. Take some time to give to your local food pantry. Share your goodness with your fellows at church. There are so many places to give…
What will you do for your community and how will you do it?
This is not about us, but about them.
A random act of kindness needs no reward. And should come with none. Do it because you want to not because you have to.
Tis the season for kindness to our fellow man. And it begins with us.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Make the season joyous and bright.