Friday, February 15, 2013

Using one brush to paint a picture

Not sure how to approach this subject this week. Do I cut to the chase and just say I think there is too much hate in this world and people are too easy to pass judgment? Or do I take a conservative approach in an attempt to not hurt anyone’s feelings. DIRECT ROUTE!!
So often the world is quick to pass judgment on others based on the preconceived ideas that we have.  I would love to see a day when we could all get along and not look down on others, I know that will never happen, I am not naive enough to think that one day the whole world will live in harmony and we will have gigantic love ins all the time,but we can start by caring for others around us , hey you never know where it may lead.
When is the last time you have heard an off side comment regarding someone you don’t know and not take the time to defend that person for the sake of not offending a friend, family member, co-worker or simply the person making the comment. I was shocked and appalled the other day when I heard a young person make fun a man who was trying to have his lunch who obviously had Tourettes Syndrome. I could see the man was barely affected by the comments, which tell me this is not the first time he has been made fun of and probably would not be the last. To me this was shocking, here is a person who wants so desperately to be a part of the community and live a normal life and can’t even go for lunch without being degraded and ridiculed for something that he cannot control.  I found myself becoming angry, I could feel my blood boil at that point. I took a moment to compose myself as I knew if I had gone over and said something half-cocked, I would not have been nice, not that they deserved my nice side. I took my food and politely sat down at the table with the 2 young men. I think they may have pee’d a little when a man 6’4” 270 lbs. came and sat unannounced at their table. I calmly stated to the men who I was introduced myself and asked them why they thought that it was funny to be making fun of others? Their reply “HUH? What does it matter to you what we said?” I explained to the young men that I was not there to pass judgment on them, I was not going to harm them, I just wanted them to defend their comments and explain what makes a person say hurtful things to others for pure enjoyment? After getting off to a slow start I was able to gather information from one of the boys past, he told me that he had a disabled sister and he did not defend the man from his friend because as he grew up he was taught to ignore the problem and it would go away from his parents. I am not saying that his parents were wrong (well maybe I am) but by avoiding the issue and not educating the people around you to the disorder or disability just spawns more hated because then people develop preconceived and misinformed information about what the issues are. With my background in Mental Health, I explained Tourettes Syndrome to the young men. I paid for their lunch and left. As I was leaving I overheard the young men approach the man with Tourettes and apologize for their actions.
I am not saying that will be the last time the boys will make fun of someone , or the man with Tourettes will not have to endure ridicule while in public but what I can say is that even if it was just for one meal , that man felt like he belonged and was welcome.
The moral of the story I guess is that when you see someone who is being bullied or being made fun of , take the time to say something , let a voice be heard for those who have been beat down for so long and do not have the energy to defend themselves.
We all were born the same way and should be treated as such regardless of your ability or disability.  
Santa’s picks for follows of the week
@FMSPCA @A_forbes  @shaimadas @CJCJ95 @vancanucks @Mindcheck_ca @4HUMANITEEs
These are just a few that have taken the time to promote harmony, wellness, positive education and compassion for the people and animals of the world.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Have you ever wanted to be perfect? Why? Once you achieve perfection there is nowhere else to go.
I find myself especially drawn to a fantastic site called I am not drawn to the site because it’s part of the Canucks and the NHL but because it’s a fantastic way for people to self-evaluate or evaluate people you may fear have depression. Depression is not seen as a disability, what it should be seen as is DEBILITATING.
As a person who suffered a severe neck injury and multiple concussions when I was younger and a finely tuned athlete (at least that what I tell people) I can still to this day say that I suffer from the after effects 23 years later. I feel that I was one of the lucky ones that had a strong supporting cast behind me to get me through the dark days, some are not as lucky.
As often as a young man I wished that someone would ask me “what do you want to do?” “How can I help you?”, “do you want to talk?”Instead of “how are you doing?” I know that sounds strange but when you are asked 10-20 times per day “How are you doing” it becomes redundant and makes you feel like shutting down and not talking about the issue at hand.
The best advice that I can give someone is that if you ever feel like a friend, family member or co-worker is suffering from depression, ask the tough questions, and don’t give Advice! You should be there to listen to what the person has to say.
Be concerned if your loved one...

    Doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore.
    Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody.
    Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities.
    Talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.”
    Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life.
    Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain.
    Complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
    Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
    Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps.
    Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
    Has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and “out of it.”
    Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkiller
Ways to start the conversation:

    I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
    Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
    I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.

Questions you can ask:

    When did you begin feeling like this?
    Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
    How can I best support you right now?
    Have you thought about getting help

I as many of you have wished that I could wave a magic wand, find a genie in a bottle or win the lottery to change my whole life so that things would be different. Now I find myself wondering why I would want to change my life’s path , I would not be who I am today if I did not have the trials and tribulations that I have endured over my life time , I would not have Mrs. Santa , and I would not have my Kids .
A special thanks to all the mental health care providers that help to save lives and educate on a daily basis
Thank to Mr Kevin Bieksa for his hard work bring light to the ones suffering the Dark Days