Hang on to your compassionate ideals

Doing good is not only vital to humanity and to the planet, it’s one of the key ingredients to living a happy and fulfilling life

Hang on to your compassionate idealsBecause there are no sports on television right now, my favourite movie, Field of Dreams, has been getting a lot of airtime. Near the end of the film, the main character meets his father as a young man and comments on his appearance, saying, “My God, I only saw him years later when he was…

In true competition, there are no losers

We’re all meant to develop our own talents, and we’re better able to achieve unimaginable heights when we don’t strive to win, but to truly compete

In true competition, there are no losersThe word competition often draws to mind hard-nosed athletes and coaches who will do anything to win. We imagine the tough business executive who will eliminate all adversaries to make the greatest profit. But in fact, the win-at-all-costs attitude brings only short-term success. In order to win in the long run, one needs a much…

Fall of the Berlin Wall was just a starting point

We can never forget the love of freedom and the demand for the respect of the rights of each individual that brought about its fall

Fall of the Berlin Wall was just a starting pointNov. 9 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  This was most significant global event of my lifetime (I was born in 1962) and it’s worth remembering for many reasons. First, it’s significant to note why the wall fell. It simply couldn’t withstand the human desire for freedom. Throughout the communist…

Is the world on the verge of a nuclear winter?

As Trump upsets the world order, many countries may feel they have no choice but to develop nuclear weapons

Is the world on the verge of a nuclear winter?What will the world look like in 50 years – or even 10? One of the rather unsettling possibilities is that the future will have to accommodate a Germany with nuclear arms. For the short period after the Second World War that the United States was the only nuclear power, the world was stable. But…

Pierre Trudeau’s Cold War dossier shouldn’t have been destroyed

CSIS decision is an affront to historical study, denying us deeper understanding of both the former prime minister and the RCMP

Pierre Trudeau’s Cold War dossier shouldn’t have been destroyedThere’s a new Trudeau story in the news. It doesn’t have anything to do with the current prime minister for a change, but rather his late father. The Canadian Press’s Jim Bronskill wrote on June 15 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service destroyed a Cold War dossier related to the late former prime minister Pierre…

Why helping the downtrodden around the world helps us all

The idea that you can wall build walls and create quarantines is as ridiculous as it is dangerous

Why helping the downtrodden around the world helps us allWhen we carefully examine fear, we can see that it’s mostly irrational. Legitimate fear is a good thing, however, because it pushes us to eliminate actual dangers to our well-being. During the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear Armageddon was very real. Many of us took up the task of changing global conditions by…

Power of the Catholic church can tear down walls – even along borders

History shows again and again that the church can mobilize an unstoppable force driven by a desire for love and peace

Power of the Catholic church can tear down walls – even along bordersAs tensions mount in the United States over whether a wall should be built along the Mexican border, little has been written about a force that could well become the determining factor on the issue. Despite its own struggles and coverups, the Catholic church has shown itself to be an insurmountable force when it fully…

Ronald Reagan’s remarkable mission to Moscow

The American president's loathing for nuclear weapons and his desire to see new freedoms in the Soviet Union framed his trip

Ronald Reagan’s remarkable mission to MoscowLate in his presidency, Ronald Reagan went to Moscow for a visit that generated some dramatic images and memorable moments. If you’d predicted this when he was elected in 1980, most people – pundits and experts especially – would’ve scoffed at you. Reagan, so the narrative went, was a dangerous cowboy, a warmonger and a…

Abstain to satisfy your hunger for peace and understanding

Fasting makes me feel purified in body, mind and spirit, and links me in solidarity with good people all around the world

Abstain to satisfy your hunger for peace and understandingFormer American secretary of agriculture Ezra Taft Benson said, “Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit.” Fasting is largely misunderstood. Food is so necessary to our existence. Why would we want to punish ourselves by not eating? How can abstaining in any way be beneficial? Yet fasting…

Christmas books for the history buff

Pat Murphy's shopping suggestions to satisfy the history buff on your list

Christmas books for the history buffIf your Christmas shopping list includes a history buff who hasn’t yet been provided for, don’t panic. Here’s a handful of 2015 titles that might solve your problem. The English and Their History (Robert Tombs) At almost 900 pages of text followed by copious notes, this certainly qualifies as a doorstopper. But that shouldn’t put…