Agree or Disagree: We place a huge value on being “popular”


In many social settings, there is a tendency  to divide in certain camps. You want to connect with the people you feel you have something in common with.

 

When I was in High School, there was generally 3 categories that people were divided in.

 

There were the “Bangers”. They were the lovers of the heavy metal music. They were identified by long, and in some cases “mullet” hair. Some wore what I would describe as half t-shirts with the band in the middle and the white shirt. Smoked outside

 

There was also the “Preps”. They were clean cut.  Perfect hair. Polo shirt. Joined all the sports team. They were the most “noted” in my school

 

Then there were the “Nerds”. And when we talk about nerd, the mindset of the nerd has changed. While we now look at it as a compliment, it wasn’t always the case. The nerds were stuck in a corner and there was no fashion category that they could fit in. Generally, they were insulted and ignored.

 

And as much as there was some that denied that they belonged to a “category”, the fact is people were putting people in categories. We sized them up and made our own determination on “who they are”. And there was no better example than the High School Dance.

 

Do you remember the High School Dance?  You might have been like me. Well, I’m not sure ANYONE  was like me but maybe you were. Here’s an example of my High School Dance adventures.

 

I looked forward to them.  How can you not? Dancing with girls. I spent the night before “practicing” my moves in my room. I was able to generally predict the songs that would be played. And I had moves. If there was an award for “Best Dancer in front of a mirror that no one saw” I would have won hands down.

 

Unfortunately, my practice did not translate to the dance floor. You see, I was .. how do you say this…” fashion challenged”. I had A LOT of hair. And it went up… and up… and up. I also had some interesting clothing choices. One outfit included a bright ,bright yellow sweater with checkered pants. This was not endearing. Or helpful

 

There was a time I saw a really pretty girl that I wanted to dance with. I spent a good chunk of the dance observing her. I wanted to talk to her, but I was nervous.  So the dance is coming to a close and the time is short. I tempted to ask her the dance.

 

Me(Awkwardly):  Would you like to dance?

Her: (Frightened by the thought): No, you know I’m really tired.

 

Me exits.

 

I then turn and go to my seat. I look up and lo and behold, she is up and dancing with another guy. I’m guessing she developed a second wind.

 

As much as we want to admit that this was just a “High School Thing”, if you observe enough social situations you will note that there is still a social pecking order. Let me give you an example. This might be you.

 

People walk into a room at a party. You remove your coat, you look around the room and look for the people you know. You naturally gravitate towards them as that is your connection.

 

Next, you will see someone you don’t. You will analyze if this is a person worthy to talk too. Somewhat instantly you make that decision. It may be yes. In which case you are intrigued by a conversation. Or, it may be no. But this person is still in approach mode and it would be rude to be impolite. Either way, this is how the conversation starts.

 

You: Hi, I’m……

Them: I’m……

You: What do you do?

Them: Blah, Blah, Blah. You?

You: Blah, blah blah.

 

In both cases, you try to make it as interesting as possible what you do. But do you not find it interesting that this is the first question that is generally asked. And is it not interesting the connections and the non-connections that come from a simple elevator speech?

 

And if you are at the party long enough, you will note who is connected with who. In some cases, who you are connected with can be very valuable. In some cases, you might be in the category of “popular”.

 

The perception of those that are “popular” is that they get noticed. When they get noticed, they get breaks. When they get noticed, you know them and lots about them. They may not know who you are. Good or bad, they get in the news.

And for those who are not, or have been rejected it’s different. Rejection leads to isolation, which can lead to depression and more.

 

On this day when we are discussing Bullying Awareness, I think it is important that we bring in the conversation about the “Social Status” and how it fits in this. I would argue that it may not be an obvious bullying tactic, but it can be subtle how we categorize people. This can be a form of bullying.

 

Whether it’s the awkward kid with the funny hair and odd dress habits, or the beautiful person people want to be around, we were created for community. We long to feel a form of acceptance for who we are. Not rejected for who we are not.

 

The question is how can we do that better?

An Open Letter to the Drivers of the Sandstone Valley are last Wednesday


Last week, there was an accident involving a 56 year old pedestrian struck not by one, but two vehicles. Several other cars past by, and one lady stayed with her. This letter is those drivers who passed  by the lady that day.

 

 

On Wednesday February 20 in the early morning, Wong Shuk Yee was preparing to go about her day. She got up, she got ready and was prepared to go for a walk. The weather was chilly. This  might have been her daily routine walk. She might have liked to start her day with fresh air and a walk. The neighbourhood she lives in is quiet and safe. So she gets ready, plans to be back and she leaves.

 

Turns out this was her last walk. And the last time she would have seen her family.

 

I’m sure you were just getting ready for your day. You have your routine to get to work. You left at your regular time, going to do your work, or school. And maybe you were in a rush to get where you needed to be.

 

Part of her walk was to cross this street. It might have been a street that she tried to cross 1,000 times.

 

The road you drive might be the same route you drive 1,000 times.

 

You might have passed each other unknowingly. But on Wednesday, you faced other.

 

As she was crossing the street, she did not see the oncoming car coming that struck her. The blow was so hard that according to reports, she flipped over the car and landed on the road.

 

THAT car didn’t stop.

 

The next two of you would have seen her, but you drove around her to go on with your day.

 

THEN, one of you dragged her under your car. Then you left.

 

And then several of you that followed THAT car drove by. Each one perhaps in the same hurry that everyone else is. Or maybe you thought that the person behind you would help.

 

For one of you, it turned out that is true. As a lady named Tonya Beach came out and stayed with her which help was on the way.

 

Turns out, you saw that Tonya was helping. Some of you might have looked with morbid curiosity, driving slowly by to look at the thing you can’t not look at. 

 

But you kept going. And going. Until someone screamed out and asked you to stop!

 

Two of you have been charged with hit and run. But many of you have been able to go on with your day. The same days and the same routine that perhaps you have just simply lived all the time.

 

The same routine that has been lost by the family this weekend. The one that was interrupted by a phone call at work. That might have pulled a person out of school.

 

Because part of your decision to ensure that your routine would continue interrupted someone else’s.

 

The question that is on everyone’s mind is why? People have theories as to reasons. There are several. The truth is only you know what they are. And the reasons and the decision that legally or not, you will have to live with that decision.

 

But, I have a second question. What if this person was someone you know? And you had to read this story about how several people passed YOUR  friend or family member. What would you have done? How would you have reacted?  How hard would that be to watch people drive by someone YOU care about to go on with their day?

 

Because as this weekend past, maybe you visited friends. Perhaps you did some errands around the house. Perhaps you were able to shop. But, you were able to do your weekend things.

 

Meanwhile, this weekend a family was planning a way to honour someone who you didn’t know, but many cherished and loved. It’s all they could think of this weekend.

 

And perhaps you may not feel that you are connected and you didn’t know her. But the truth you are connected with her now.

 

And THAT is the “street”  you need to cross.

Agree or Disagree: If you won the lottery, you would quit your job.


I don’t know if you heard, but a Calgary couple has won $30 million dollars from the lottery.

They have announced they have quit their jobs. And they are moving into a bigger house.

You can read the story here http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/million+lotto+winners+quit+their+jobs+plan+bigger+house/8002897/story.html

Now, let us be honest, some of us are jealous of them. And if you won a Million dollar or more lottery, you would do it too. 

Wouldn’t you?

Agree or Disagree: Evangelical Christians are “UnCanadian”


This statement was said by Thomas Muclair the leader of the NDP Party.

The  statement specifcally directed to Crossroads Relief and Development. They received $389,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency to build wells and provide clean water to Uganda.

“We don’t understand how the Conservatives can … subsidize a group in Uganda whose views are identical to those of the Ugandan government,” Mulcair said. according to this article http://www.torontosun.com/2013/02/11/evangelicals-are-un-canadian-ndp-leader-thomas-mulcair.

If you are not aware,Uganda has an anti-homosexuality bill which leads to the death penalty for those that are caught as homosexuals.

Now, there have been many Christian organizations and missionaries that have served in Africa. I know people that have. Generally,the intent of these organizations is to do exactly what  CIDA is doing. Build wells and provide clean water.

Now if you ask Crossroads, or an Evangelical Christian, they would consider homosexuality a sin. That is what their values are at. I would also bet if you asked most Evangelical Christians if homosexuals should be put to death, they would say no.

While I might not agree fully with Crossroads view on homosexuality, I also think that the criticism of them seems a little unfair. After all, isn’t it Canadian for us to help someone out who is in need?

Thoughts?

Agree or Disagree: Most women would prefer to be stay at home moms instead of working


This is an interesting article from Forbes magazine that features a survey for stay at home moms.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/09/12/is-opting-out-the-new-american-dream-for-working-women/

The highlight of this survey is this line which I will quote for you.

84% of working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to.

What’s more, more than one in three resent their partner for not earning enough to make that dream a reality.

I know from conversations we have had before on this topic, some might think this is a generality.  However, this is an interesting statistic.

So, if you are a woman would you agree with this?

If you are a guy, how do you feel? Many have been told, particularly from the Christian church, that the role of the man is to “lead” and “provide”. When you see something like 1 in 3 women having resentment for “not making a dream a reality”, how do you react?