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November 11, 2014

Lest We Forget




It’s a small word meaning

esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability.

That definition perfectly describes why we ought to set down our own petty lives for an hour a year and honour the brave men and women who came before us and lay down their lives to protect our precious Rights and Freedoms.


We ought to esteem the worth, the excellence even, of those brave heroes who made a conscious choice to put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.

We really ought to esteem those fallen men and women.  They were better than we are.  They thought of others before themselves.  They believed in a better world than what they had then and there, and were willing to do whatever it took to ensure their children and grandchildren would have a better world, than they did.

Those who wear uniforms at today’s Remembrance Day ceremonies, no matter their age, rank or branch of service, are selfless to a degree most don’t fathom and cannot comprehend.

After you attend the Remembrance Day ceremony in your city or town try on a little of that braveness, that selflessness and do one simple thing.

Walk up to one of those brave veterans and simply say,

“Thank you for your service.”

You will be astonished by their response, that I guarantee.

And you will be a better person for the experience.  I guarantee that too.

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January 1, 2013

The Lesson of Ben Comen and why each and every one of us should apply it to our own lives



Ben Comen is a runner. Specifically, he’s a cross country runner. He’s never won the Olympics, nor is he likely to. In fact, Ben will never make it to the Olympics other than as a spectator.

So what lesson can a runner you’ve never heard of and who has never won a Gold medal at the Olympics possibly teach us?

Possibly the most important lesson of all.

Make a decision. Follow it with Action.

There’s a little more to it, but that’s the core right there. Here’s the rest of it.

1. Make a decision and follow it with action.

2. Never stop giving that action everything you’ve got.

3. Be 100% committed to your decision and the action that flows from it.

4. Only compete against yourself. Forget everyone else. What they do doesn’t matter.

Sounds simple, right?

It is.

The hard part comes when the inevitable tidal wave of people tells you to quit, to give up, to stop making a fool of yourself, to just stop trying at all, and they will. They always do.

That, I suppose, is where the most valuable part of the Lesson of Ben Comen comes in.

Never listen to the naysayers who will tell you endlessly (even though you never asked them) that you’ll never do anything useful; that you’ll never amount to anything; that you’re an idiot for even trying.

Ben is not a great runner, though that’s not from lack of effort on Ben’s part. You could even say Ben isn’t even a good runner.

You see, Ben Comen isn’t like you and me. Ben has cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disease that affects his balance, among many other things.

Balance is essential for a cross-country runner. Ben doesn’t have it. Ben also doesn’t care that he doesn’t have it. He runs anyway.

As you’ll see in the video below, Ben simply never gives up, no matter what.

Anybody can find something they can do – and do it well. I like to show people you can either stop trying or you can pick yourself up and keep going. It is just more fun to keep going.” -Ben Comen

So today, as you step into a brand New Year and wonder what’s ahead for you, think about the lesson Ben Comen. Think about the obstacles he faces and how he takes on that challenge with joy in his heart each and every day of his life.

Then take this simple lesson and apply it to your own life.

Ben did and, as a result, he is the only person I’ve heard of who both has cerebral palsy and is also a member of a championship cross-country team.

That’s quite an accomplishment even without cerebral palsy!

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November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day: A Day to Honour the Men and Women Who Sacrificed Everything for us


Remembrance Day isn’t just one more Hallmark Holiday where we get a paid day off to do whatever we want.  Unfortunately most people look at it that way.

No, Remembrance Day is the day we set aside to remember and honour the brave men and women who gave their lives in the defense of our Rights and Freedoms; a day to honour those men and women who survived the horrors of war to come home and pick up where they left off.

EveryDayIsRemembranceDay So many people today believe they are entitled to everything.  The recent Occupy protests show this so clearly.

We are not born entitled to anything, other than, perhaps, to die. That’s about all we come into this world entitled to receive. Death.

Yet these protestors believe they are entitled to crap wherever they want, destroy the property of whoever they want, and receive money from the government for doing it.

Sorry kids, but that’s just not the way the world works.

Brave men and women have fought in numerous wars, conflicts and other “actions” to defend our Rights and Freedoms, not our overblown sense of entitlement to someone else’s bank account.

So, if your head is not stuffed too far up your behind today, step out of your home and your comfort zone, go to your local Remembrance Day Ceremony and do this one simple task:

Walk up to a single veteran and say “Thank You.”

That’s it.  Nothing outrageous or extravagant.

Just “Thank You.”

It’s hard for people to believe these days, I know, but that total stranger you will be thanking today believed it was their duty to protect YOUR rights and freedoms.

Thanking just one of them is the very least you can do, don’t you think?

Now, if you want to REALLY go out of your way, do the same thing tomorrow, and the day after.  Go to your local Legion Hall or anywhere else you can find an old veteran.

Thank them.

Buy them a coffee or a drink.

Buy them dinner.

Talk with them, or just sit in silence with them, whichever they prefer.

That’s what honouring someone is… doing whatever it is they would have you do for them.

It’s a far cry from the selfish whining crybabies strewing their garbage all over the Vancouver Art Gallery lawn, but then again, the Occupy movement isn’t about honouring anyone or anything.

It’s about entitlements.

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