Fortifying Friday – Sad

candle-1239891_640I haven’t forgotten about Frisky Friday.

I just haven’t felt up to it for quite some time and my life has been very busy between work placement and traveling for martial arts.

The world is so reactive right now and it makes me sad.

People want to address problems by ignoring the root cause. Again. I don’t know how many times they need to see the same thing happen before they realize their emotions are clouding their judgment on what actually works.

What I’ve been saying for days now is the same as what the experts, who have been working to make things better since Columbine, have been saying.

And I’ve seen it in action.

There was a kid in my school that made a hit list. Many of the people I know were on it. So many have forgotten this incident for some reason. Or maybe they’re just ashamed for making him feel so bad he wanted to kill people. I wasn’t on the list because I wasn’t mean to him. It really wasn’t hard not to be.

What happened with it?

When the list was discovered, the boy was immediately removed from our school and sent away to get help. Eventually, he finished his education in a different city. Instead of ignoring the issue, corrective action was taken immediately and everyone was kept safe. The boy grew into a man and never killed anyone.

Today, he’s a relatively normal geeky guy.

This whole thing is killing me inside because I want everyone to have their rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness protected and so many want to take away rights to put things in place that have proven time and again not to solve the problems. How can you propose solutions that ignore so many of the facts?

Those of us that see beyond one element of this problem are treated as if we are heartless monsters for suggesting the tool is just a symptom. My heart hurts so much right now. I just want these people to stop falling through the cracks. I want everyone to live their lives fully and freely. I don’t want to hear about more children dying because some kid had mental health issues, no father, no friends, etc.

It’s not my country. I can’t do anything about policy. All I can do is help people see the broader picture. When you give up a right, you don’t get it back. Many gun laws are in place and the people hired to enforce them didn’t do their jobs.

I’m just a woman who has noticed the pattern repeat time and again, so I can understand you may think little of my opinion on this matter. But how about the opinion of an expert who does this for a living, Clint Fiore?

Sorry for being a downer tonight.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – What’s Our Business?

thoughtfulI’ve been thinking about war a lot lately.

It’s a common precept that Western countries go across the world to fight battles in order to change another country’s government. The idea there being that the only way for people to want to stay in their country is if the living conditions improve.

But should we be doing this? Does anyone even ask themselves this or do they simply believe their country’s government is better and therefore that is what all other countries should have in place?

Is it not extremely vain to think Eastern countries should have a more Western style government?

People say they’re doing it to make the world a better place. But are they actually doing this so we make the whole world more Western? If so, is it so we understand them better?

Are we doing it to seize power?

Western countries developed their governments, in part, through having their own civil wars. In Canada, we had uprisings in Ontario and Quebec before they were named as such. I think most people are well aware of the American Civil War.

But then I think that if most saw their neighbour beating his wife, they’d do something about it. That would either be stepping in or reporting it to the authorities. But unless the authorities catch him doing it and the wife wants to press charges, the police can only do so much about the situation until she’s ready to make it stop.

So is it better then to let the people of these war torn countries rise up and create their own governments?

I don’t know what the answer is, but I think it’s important to think about these things.

I’m generally in favour in only helping when asked. Situations of this type are way more complex than most of us can imagine, in my opinion.  I mean, it’s hard to understand my classmates sometimes, so how can I think I know what’s best for an entire country’s worth of people?

And that’s how it flows today.
R~

Merry Monday – Danger

Danger is really dependent on perspective.

I bought a dangerous thing at the store the other day. 

They had this set in a locked case along with hunting knives. The young man in that department got the key and placed it into a cloth bag, which he then locked the zipper on. The lady at the cash unlocked it.

Now, I’m aware the whole point in to ensure I can’t use it in store. Here’s the thing, though. If I already had a thing sharp enough on me to cut through that plastic, I could’ve also cut through the cloth bag. If I really wanted to do something, that wouldn’t have stopped me. The other thing is that it’s the type of store that is typically hard to find someone to help you in, so I would’ve had plenty of time alone to do something. Also, the utility knives are easily accessible if I really wanted to hurt someone.

I walked to the cash smiling about the futility of their security measures and because I was thinking about my wand project at home that I needed the knife for. I was intending just to get a small knife to whittle, but the one I wanted wasn’t there and this whole set was $20 after tax.

I’ve long wanted a wand, being a huge fan of Harry Potter, but none of the wands available for purchase feel like my wand. I think you can guess what I’m shaping this found twig into:

I haven’t figure out all the steps yet. Right now I’m just trying to get the blade shape. I’m daydreaming about the other parts like the tsuba, tsuka, and tsuka gashira. 

Well, the day has been long, I’m sore from yesterday’s martial arts lesson, and my brain is mushy from French class, so goodnight.

Ciao,

R~

Fortifying Friday: Week of July 8, 2016

candle-1239891_640

I cannot imagine what it is like to be a black person this week. Not in the slightest. I look around my neighbourhood and see young black men waiting for the bus to go to school and I wonder how they can muster up the courage to go outside at all. It shouldn’t be this way. They shouldn’t have to worry that a trip to the grocery store will end up in death. My black friends shouldn’t have to worry that their sons will be killed for buying diapers someday. No one should. Something has to change. I think this video needs to go viral.

The killing of people because of race or religion has to stop. Why? To quote Prime Minister Trudeau, “Because it’s 2016!”

Funky Friday is no more. I believe something different is called for. Not simply sharing of news stories, but sharing news that inspires hope for the future. I want to highlight the good things that aren’t getting enough coverage. This is in no way to diminish the seriously awful things that are happening. To quote JK Rowling, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

I want more light and less dark. I hope to light a fire of good change. Let’s kaizen this world a little at a time.

Personal

  • My month of love poetry is going well.
  • I am no longer sensitive to dairy, eggs, or yeast and am eating/drinking everything but gluten and carbonated drinks.

 

Canada

 

US

 

World

 

Ciao,
R~

When Bad Things Happen

I received some disheartening news today.

Someone I knew has been found guilty of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of their high school students.

It’s possible this person is suffering from mental illness, but does that excuse any part of their behaviour?

Mature adults know better. Even if they have feelings for someone, they know not to pursue it. They don’t act on those feelings.

But this person took action.

Those of us that know them are in shock.

I’m wondering if there were signs there that I should have seen.

I’m also wondering if anyone ever really knows anyone else.

Ciao,
R~

When It’s Worse Than You Thought

I believe we all know someone that peaked in high school. Perhaps a track-and-field star that took up smoking and started “dancing” in a strip club. We’ve also known those who have turned out to be different people than we thought. That pretty dancer with the heroin addiction, for example.

Something came to light today about a former football star from my hometown. Back when I was in the school and he was a senior, there were whisperings that he was involved with drugs in a big way. As far as I knew, he was a dealer. That’s not what the police arrested him for.

Apparently he’s accused of engaging in sexual activity with girls younger than 16 years old! The initial report is three, but many more are speaking out.

When someone you once shared hallways with turns out to be a monster… well I don’t know what else to say about this. I’m not shocked he’s been arrested for something, but I never thought he was *THAT* bad! It wasn’t uncommon for kids at my high school to dabble in marijuana, shrooms, or LSD, but I never heard of any unwanted sexual contact, let alone preying on kids.

The family of the accused is encouraging the public to report anything they know to the investigating officer.

It’s best the police question any children that may have been involved as they have training in matters like this.

Please help them get to the bottom of this. I grew up with the investigating officer, Greg McClenaghan. Greg is easy to talk to and truly cares about the service he is providing. His father and mine are buddies. If you know anything that can help assist the investigation, please don’t hesitate to contact Greg at (705) 497-5555. The number for Near North Crime Stoppers is also in the linked article.

I feel sick.

R~

The Day After

I’m still working on my post on how I felt about my first Can-Con, but this one feels more important.

Yesterday was a terrible day in our nation’s capital.

I’m upset that people I know were so close to the situation on parliament hill as it was unfolding, that they could’ve been harmed and I could’ve been reading about a loved one.

I’m not scared for my life as an Ottawa resident. I feel like the response was quick and the situation didn’t drag on for days unlike the incident in Moncton earlier this same year.

It annoyed me to read people tweeting that they thought it took too long for police to respond to the scene, though I get that they were scared. Everyone just wanted the shooting to stop and to know what was going on. Having worked at a police station, I can say that officers aren’t always 100% ready for a situation of that magnitude. Some may have been eating lunch, been on their sanctioned break, been intaking someone for another crime, been in the washroom, and/or may have had to pack some different gear than what a standard patrol officer has in their rather large kits. A situation with a gunman means coordination between multiple levels of policing, which I thought happened very quickly.

I’m glad people seem to have learned since the Moncton shooting not to say so many stupid things on social media and to obey the police when they say not to tweet/post the locations of the police. There was enough confusion.

I’m impressed that our media behaved like responsible adults rather than adding in their own wild speculations.

I’m upset that a young man lost his life guarding a monument. The guard position at the unknown soldier is needed because we can’t trust people not to vandalize it. Some things are sacred and I wish for the kind of world that just accepts something as sacred to someone else and respects it, the kind of world where people don’t find happiness in the misery of others.

Coming to work this morning, I felt frustrated by the lack of information. Then we began finding out much more today about the shooter, but it’s still a difficult thing to make sense of. A small part of me wishes the shooter wasn’t killed, so they could have interrogated him, and the rest of me feels at peace knowing he can’t cause further harm.

I feel sad for the shooter’s parents. He had a good upbringing according to people that knew him as a child. It’s looking more and more like he had mental issues requiring therapy and medications. I feel sad that he couldn’t have gotten the help needed to get well as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo may not have died yesterday on home soil.

I feel sad for those left behind, including Cpl. Cirillo’s dogs. My father used to travel for training when I was in high school and our dog would refuse to eat while he was gone because he missed him so much and no one could console him. We couldn’t convince him to eat until the day my dad was due home. We’d tell him that he had to eat to be strong for Daddy. But Cpl. Cirillo’s dogs have lost him forever and they won’t understand what happened.

I feel thankful that heroes like the RCMP and Kevin Vickers are quick to act with selflessness by putting themselves in danger to protect others.

I’m deeply touched by the people who have expressed concern about my own well-being. I feel fortunate to have people in my life that care. Thank you and I love you.

And now it’s time for living life. We all have things we are passionate about and I feel blessed to live in a country with such freedom to pursue interests and forms of self-expression, such as, this blog. I live in a beautiful city that bustles with activity and opportunity. Today is a new day and I’m happy that Canada is staying strong.

Ciao,
R~

My Opinions on the Moncton Shooting

I am happy they caught the shooter in Moncton. It’s unfortunate that anyone had to die.

Like many, I followed social media to keep abreast of the situation, particularly Twitter. I’m generally disappointed in people over this situation. No one should have to be told that tweeting the locations of police during such a situation is a bad idea. No one should be trying to justify that it is okay for them to do so either. Please use your brains as they aren’t grown simply to fill the space between your ears. Such actions help the person who is gunning people down rather than helping the people who are trying to restore safety to the area. It is not okay to suppose he couldn’t possibly be watching Twitter for locations. Twitter allows people to follow a hashtag without being logged on and everything is public. Social networking is kind of a big thing in case you didn’t notice and it’s likely that he was following social media. You shouldn’t even need the police or media to tell you that.

If he had only been upset with a particular officer, I might care a little less because I would understand it a little better. I’ve worked with police officers and know that some are huge jerks. That’s not unique to policing or security though. Not all officers are against things like smoking weed either. Targeting a group of people based on their job is an a-hole thing to do. Police officers are not just police officers; they have lives outside of work too. They have children, wives, etc. They have hobbies like fishing, painting, writing, bbqing, etc. COPS ARE PEOPLE! I’m not cool with all the cop hate. I’m generally not cool with hating any particular group (with the exception of groups like the KKK). Even politicians are people. Yes many politicians suck and I often feel like voting in any election is akin to deciding who will screw up my life the least while also trying to consider if they will largely screw up society. This doesn’t mean all politicians should be killed either. Some do great things that help regardless of whether or not everyone in the public is aware.

I really don’t get the 300-something people that were liking the shooter’s fan page either. I don’t get people that collect murderabilia. I don’t get people that want to marry serial killers. I don’t understand how people can be interested in such things, but that doesn’t mean those people should die either. I personally think they need some mental help, but then there are many fringe groups I am part of that others don’t understand and it’s not unreasonable to think that others may think me a little mentally off too.

Back to tweeting. Be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. It’s natural for people to want to feel involved in such a thing, but if you can’t take a moment and think about whether you are helping the situation resolve or prolonging it and possibly causing death to more people, stick to texting your friends instead.

A person’s right to free speech on the Internet is not greater than the lives of a community. I wonder if people think about how we got the right to free speech. Do you think it was simply that enough people complained? I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be asked to shut up temporarily to help stop someone from murdering people. Patience is a virtue today that is rapidly becoming extinct with our fast food lifestyles. Just because you have the right to something, does not mean you should exercise it at every moment of every day. If you consistently abuse a right, it can be taken away. Use it wisely. Please do better in the future. Also, it’s likely the right to free speech is to be used to help protect our other rights and freedoms, not to aid and abet a killer.

And people who think all police go out and beat good people up… Yes it happens. No, not all cops do this. I worked at a police station for 4 years and never saw any evidence of that during my time there. Part of my job there was to go through video evidence and prepare tapes for court, which were necessary because of this very issue. Yes, some go into policing because they like to dominate others, but that happens in business and other industries too.

Imagine for a second what it would be like to live your work day under constant surveillance. It’s not because you’re a bad person. You have nothing but good intentions, but the world doubts you because of a handful of a-holes. I think it would feel like you constantly have to prove you’re different than those a-holes and that can get exhausting. It might be a bit like dating someone who thinks you couldn’t be different than all the crappy people they’ve dated before. Is it really a wonder that some living under such pressure, give up?

Imagine what it would be like to go to work each day knowing some a-hole could make it your last day alive.

No I’m not a general fan of police either. Like I said, I worked with them. I know some a-hole cops, but I don’t let that group of a-holes colour my perception of all cops or all people that work in policing related fields.

Every time something like this happens, people remark on warning flags that happened in the months and years leading up to the event. Please have the bravery to talk to someone that can help your loved ones out. At worst, your friend will be annoyed that you thought they were serious, but they’ll get over it and you might even laugh about it at a party someday. At best, you’ll stop unnecessary death from happening.

Instead of hating cops, perhaps it would be better to hate the societal circumstances that require the job of policing to exist? Do something that helps reduce the need for police.

I didn’t think I had any connection to Moncton. I don’t have family there. My friend’s sister lives there, apparently, which I discovered because of this tragedy. I unwittingly discovered another connection with Moncton during the shootings. Apparently, in 1998, when I was 16, my home town of North Bay, Ontario and Moncton, New Brunswick became sister/twin cities. My first thought was, “What does that even mean?” Apparently it means our cities have enough in common to want to help each other prosper. I wonder if it means anything though. If I show up in Moncton one day and tell them I’m from a sister city, will they care?

I didn’t get any work done on my book during this, but I’m okay with that. I spent my time retweeting posts about not sharing police locations and the like. I don’t know if I helped the effort to put an end to the situation, but I do know that I didn’t hinder police efforts and I tried to help.

I hope the shooter gets help, but even if he does, he’s lost the right for anyone to trust him in the future by running around and murdering people. I hope the families of the fallen and injured officers get through this time and are able to live life without fearing that every member of the general public is a cop-hating psychopath.

Ciao,
R~