Life can be wonderful. Friends, family, and co-workers seem to buzz all around doing their thing, both spending time with you and others they care for, and living the life they live with zest and/or struggle, eventually they get by with a little help from their family or friends. Trust is a paradoxical thing. It is both the strongest thing in life or can crumble rapidly from the slightest precision blow.
Have you ever counted on someone; a person who’s loyalty and capability you’ve never questioned, for something you felt was needful, and they didn’t want to show up, or help. For what seemed like no good reason, they made up excuses, or even became defensive quickly, so quickly it seemed premeditated. Then the next thing you know, the time you see or talk to them next, they act like it was no big deal. What in the world was that about? Or have you had someone who was a long-trusted friend, family member, or even your spouse (Just so you know, I’m not implying mine has.), flip-flop on you. They shared information, about your relationship or one you have with someone else, with others you don’t know, like online “friends” or someone who’s judgment you have previously stated you don’t trust. Then there’s the ever so important betrayal over money, business, or social matters, leaving you feeling left high and dry, alone and wounded. What about a loved one opposing you publicly, about a previously agreed upon position, exposing a rift in a relationship, before any real discussion had been shared around their changing convictions in a private relating time? This is probably a more appropriate manner in which to do things. These things can challenge your ability to trust again, open up to connecting again, or even want to be a part of social things again.
Betrayal, which gets its meaning through Old French from a Latin word “tradere” meaning ‘hand over, deliver up’, as in ‘having your head served up on a platter, or tray’, is an all too common experience, especially in today’s increasingly pseudo connecting societies. Techno-social platforms have made it extremely easy to convince ourselves we are properly adjusted, truly connected with others, and therefore in a sense of community. Unfortunately, this often can replace the ways of satisfying the legitimate need for acceptance, addressed by honest face-to-face connection with those flesh and blood others close around.
I was involved in an earnest conversation the other day, with a person who said they were very interested in the development of the new AI Robots, as personal relationship substitutes. They expressed very clearly, they would much rather have a partnership with one of these than another human being. Their reasoning was, “It would sure be a lot less complicated.” They said there are others they have talked to who felt the same, even to the point of attempting to pass laws to marry them. I was struck with an overwhelming sense of society betraying itself and giving up, of a serious lack of comprehension of how deep real relationships go, and of the distortion of social mores.
The idea of replacement relationships can deceptively weaken the bonds of real relationships; those with actual human touch, true integration, and even the counter balance of real reprisal to stimulate responsible behaviour. This is the actual community, and it comes with the honest effort of learning to appreciate differences built into individuality. It comes with adjusting the manner in which we express ourselves and realizing other’s significance as well. In a basic sense, it means adjusting to how they smell, and you can’t do that online, it’s too clinical, too easy, in a hyphenated word “cop-out”
Maybe you’ve had the kind of discussions where you work out mutual ground rules for how your relationship will work. Looking in the eyes of that trusted person, so you can see their true convictions about the topic at hand, to truly connect, is a far greater information stream. You get real time, real world, 3D feedback. Yes, some people have these conversations to establish trust and protections for their lives together. It’s healthy; countries do it, municipalities do it, corporations do it, even social organizations do it.
Communication works, because honest connection works. It can get those involved on a mutual page and reduce assumptions and surprises.
But after a connection is no longer a priority, a person has become sufficiently self-deceived into believing they can exist in a healthy way by themselves. All psychology, society, and religious groups, in particular Christianity, have their foundations in the need we have for others, partly in order to gain the feedback for healthy development.
At this time of year, we are commemorating Passover, the time when God set the Jewish people free from cruel slavery by the oppressive Egyptian Pharaoh. We are also celebrating the act of Christ taking each of our personal sins upon himself, and then pursuing his own death on the cross, to allow God to judge that sin within him instead and to free us all from the cause of self betrayal, which is what holds us captive, and drives us to the compromise of betraying others. This inner struggle, against the effects of this pollution of our souls, can at best be delayed in our own strength, but is a continual battle. However, what God has done, is set up an opportunity, for anyone who would choose to rely upon His provision, is offer a new essence of life. If we would admit our need, and simply ask Christ to enter our hearts, each person will experience Him living there by His Spirit, and through this His nature will overcome our own inherent self willed nature.
This Friday is, Good Friday, the day acknowledging Christ’s dying on the Cross to take away our sins. Then comes Holy Saturday, normally Jewish Sabbath, which is particularly solemn, as it acknowledges the attempt of sin to persuade in the hearts of mankind that death had the final word. Praise God, however, ‘Sundays a comin;’ Resurrection Sunday, when Christ’s triumph over death, His rising again, offers each of us a chance at Eternal Life, if we will invite God, through Jesus, into our hearts to change, and then rule our nature, as the Gentlemen He is. No more inner forcing, compulsion toward self betrayal, or desire for betrayal of others. A nature to share its capacity to forgive the betrayal of others will inhabit your soul. All that remains is the practice of co-working with that nature, which will demonstrate to you the wonders of forgiveness and truth. Even after this exchange of our sin for His nature of grace, we still stumble. We are still human after all, but having God in the human heart gives us a greater capability to understand the failings of others, and the ability to get back up without being overcome by what could overcome us before. I recommend you don’t betray this opportunity to visit a local church this Resurrection weekend and even participate in the Good Friday walk, starting at Palmer Park, which is an opportunity to understand what led up to Christ’s intercession for your life.
Happy Resurrection Experience
Open Letter to the Editor
The Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, announced on March 6th, the next step in his plan to make life more affordable for Canadians.
A Conservative government, led by Andrew Scheer, will remove the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from home heating and energy bills, which will save the average Canadian household $107 per year.
“It’s hard enough to get ahead these days without the government taking money out of your pocket,” Scheer said. “Heating your home in the winter isn’t a luxury for Canadians. It is a necessity. We don’t tax other basic necessities like groceries and we shouldn’t be taxing home heating.”
The Conservative leader emphasized that under his plan Canadians will not only save the cost of the federal tax on their home heating and energy bills, they will also save hundreds of dollars more each year after he cancels Justin Trudeau’s Carbon Tax.
“His Carbon Tax will increase the cost of everyday essentials like gasoline, groceries, and home heating and make life more expensive for everyone. As Prime Minister, I will put this money back in the pockets of Canadians where it belongs,” Scheer said.
“Canada should have a government that helps people achieve their dreams, not a government that stands in the way,” Scheer said. “My plan to remove the GST from home heating and energy bills is just one of the ways that a Conservative government will help Canadians get ahead.”
Overseeing, or overbearing?
At the January 21st Council meeting, a proposal was made to amend the Port Perry Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) governing by-law without any supporting information.
Contrary to the language of the Municipal Act, staff had been told (by whom is not clear) to move toward directly appointing BIA board members, eliminating the electoral process for the membership. This extraordinary action was said to be prompted by problems with communications and bad relations among various parties.
After a mass resignation of BIA board members in 2016, volunteer members stepped in. They faced a significant financial deficit and governance issues, including the loss of some important records. Although they did not always receive full support from the Township, they resolved these problems, largely without due thanks. A critical summary of financial concerns was presented to Township staff in December 2016, with further explanation sent to Council in May 2017. The work to restore the BIA's status and credibility was done collegially, respectfully, and with every effort to be open and accurate, including a presentation to Council in December 2017. The Mayor is well aware of all these issues.
Our BIA members pay a special levy for improvements to the downtown business district. Flowers, benches, Christmas lights, and street cleanups are just a few examples benefiting local businesses, residents and visitors. The BIA and the Township have regularly interfaced successfully; for instance, in arranging special events downtown. If any misunderstanding is suspected, it is incumbent on both parties to recognize and repair it. However, some of the language used towards the BIA board, in the January 21st meeting, was accusatory, even authoritarian.
The Township may have oversight of the BIA, but it cannot arbitrarily change the rules to put “the right people” on a local board. Our business owners and their landlords deserve better. Our democracy demands it.
Founding Member of the BIA
Justin Trudeau must resign Sheer
The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement after hearing the testimony of former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould:
“Justin Trudeau simply cannot continue to govern this great nation now that Canadians know what he has done. That is why I am calling on Justin Trudeau to resign. Further, the RCMP must immediately open an investigation, if it has not already done so, into the numerous examples of obstruction of justice the former Attorney General detailed in her testimony.
“The testimony Canadians have just heard from the former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould tells the story of a Prime Minister who has lost the moral authority to govern. A Prime Minister who allows his partisan political motivations to overrule his duty to uphold the rule of law. A Prime Minister who doesn’t know where the Liberal Party ends and where the Government of Canada begins. And a Prime Minister who has allowed a systemic culture of corruption to take root in his office and those of his most senior cabinet and public service colleagues.
“I listened carefully to the testimony of the former Attorney General, and like Canadians, I was sickened and appalled by her story of inappropriate, and frankly illegal pressure brought to bear on her by the highest officials of Justin Trudeau’s government. All to let a Liberal-connected corporation off the hook on corruption charges.
“Before Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, Canadians knew Justin Trudeau had engineered an unwanted, sustained, and co-ordinated attempt to get Ms. Wilson-Raybould to change her mind and stop the criminal trial of SNC-Lavalin. Today, thanks to Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, we now know just how intense those efforts were: ten meetings and ten phone calls involving eleven senior government officials, relentlessly targeting Ms. Wilson-Raybould, over a four month period, with the sole objective of bullying her into bending the law to benefit a well-connected corporation.
“The details are as shocking as they are corrupt: multiple veiled threats to her job, if she didn’t bow to their demands; urgings to consider the consequences, on election results and shareholder value, above judicial due process; and reminders from Justin Trudeau to his Attorney General about his own electoral prospects, should she allow SNC-Lavalin’s trial to proceed.
“As Ms. Wilson-Raybould has so clearly articulated, the people Canadians entrusted to protect the integrity of our very nation were instead only protecting themselves and their friends.
“Mr. Trudeau can no longer, in good standing and with a clear conscience, lead this great nation.
“Canada should be a country where we are all equal under the law. Where nobody, regardless of wealth, status, or political connections, is above the law. I believe we can be that country again.”
Letter to the Editor: “Proposed Amendment No. 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017”
I am deeply concerned by the staff report DEV-2019-006 titled: “Proposed Amendment No. 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017” found in today’s council meeting Agenda.
Of notable concern is an appeal to exercise the option of expanding boundary expansions by up to 40 hectares of Greenbelt lands outside of a municipal comprehensive review.
The report states in section 2.2.3 that “the Township has identified situations where minor expansions to the Port Perry settlement area are appropriate outside of a municipal comprehensive review,” yet provides no specifics. Where are these “situations” located?
The other area of concern is the province’s striking of language aimed at protecting prime employment lands and facilitating the conversion of these lands for housing following certain criteria, as described in section 2.1. The report affirms that “it is not expected that any conversions within the Township’s employment areas will be contemplated,” yet 91% of the Port Perry employment area is either vacant or underutilized. What assurances does the public have that employment lands will not be re-purposed for new housing development?
Finally, it is worth pointing out that urban sprawl is 'not the way forward for Scugog' which already suffers from a massive infrastructure deficit. The Council for Canadian Urbanism finds in its paper “Still Suburban? Growth in Canadian Suburbs, 2006-2016” that:
“There are substantial economic costs involved with suburban sprawl, which are borne by the local and provincial governments and, ultimately, the taxpayer. Greenfield development on a city’s periphery requires significant new infrastructure investments, which are difficult to accurately forecast and recover through development charges, because of the physical degradation of the infrastructure over many decades (CSCE 2016). The municipality is then burdened with the maintenance and capital repairs for the infrastructure providing service to the low-density development for its lifetime (Kiel 2018, ch. 7; Thompson 2013; Blais 2010).”
(http://www.canadiansuburbs.ca/files/Still_Suburban_Monograph_2016.pdf page 6)
Given the current provincial regime's coziness with the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the developer industry, it is imperative that this Council defend the Greenbelt and farmland against sprawl development. Residents are not interested in the Brooklinization of our fair town.
Please print this warning to your local readers like me. Ford's government has begun watering down the Endangered Species Act.
Already easy to ignore, one problem with the Act is, it has never been properly enforced. Successive governments ignored deadlines, made minimal efforts, and watered down the rules.
Industry enjoys massive exemptions from the ESA’s strict measures. This has to stop. The government must get rid of the sweeping changes. City folk may not have even noticed the sharp decline in bees, certain insects and the bats and birds that feed on them, turtles and the larger scarce wildlife.
Please make your readers aware and do something to halt the danger. Ford’s government is reviewing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on his government’s past record, this is a critical moment for endangered species.
Some of Ontario’s most beloved animals are at real risk of disappearing.
Have you ever made a commitment or a vow to yourself, and worked at it for years, yet progress seems very slow.
Maybe it was a work goal, a career aspiration, or even a community goal that hasn’t materialized. Then again, it could be something more foundational, like family relationships, or even the one with our-self.
We work, live and recreate alongside others, believing they are thinking much along common lines as we are, but we all have private images of ourselves we may struggle with.
I believe my neighbours, though unique, desire many of the same things as myself; security, smooth relationships, a nice home, maybe a little mutual respect from others. We say it doesn’t matter, but our problem often involves the assessment of others along our way, and that’s where the ‘rub’ is. Children and spouses hold a different place than others; closer, by blood and bone, by need and nurture, hope and help. In the home, similar things are treasured, but how do we go about finding them? Outbursts of control in the work place are tolerated because the paycheck wields extra motivation to go along. If we treated the ones we love with the same ‘work manner’, they would be left in dismay and may learn to give up.
Children are a crazy mix of astounding capability and raw resistance to their own constructive growth. Some find a passion very early for learning, this example challenges other children to see the potential within themselves, or stimulates a fear of limitations, by comparison in others. On the whole, the difference in response comes from the examples they see in their home lives, from parents and siblings.
It is incumbent on us, with children or not, to continue to grow in life, to continue to embrace constructive change, even if we have had a fair record of failures.
Theodore Roosevelt, once a Commissioner of Police for New York and President of the United States, said it nicely. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man (person) who points out how the strong man (character) stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit (or merit) belongs to the man (one) who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself (or herself) in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he (or she) fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his (their) place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
The arenas I’m addressing today are the inner ones of character, and the home. It’s in these arenas many of us struggle to navigate, they are intertwined, emotionally entangled, and one reveals the weaknesses left unaddressed in the other.
As parents, our failures, or more significantly our sense of failure, impacts our spouses and children. Life is a series of things being presented to us. Realistically, in the inner sense, there is no way most circumstances can continue to effect us directly. However, if we harbour what harmful moments or failures have tried to teach us, our inner thoughts will develop along the same manner, and we’ll carry this in our identity. When something happens to challenge us, we can let it into that same file, strengthening its voice.
However, we are free-will beings, and we have the choice to start a new narrative, a new story, and begin to steer our life in a new pattern or direction. If little eyes see this, Grace follows most easily, it’s the realistic understanding that “there is no effort without error or shortcoming.” So instead the pressure comes off, not the wheels; we try again and learn a little more with each attempt.
Obviously, Theodore Roosevelt realized, letting yourself off the hook for worthy failure is part of success in the future, for the same goal or a new one. Many of us get trapped in a cycle of investment in thinking or feeling a certain way, it may be hard to change, but not impossible. We can change our emotional response to failure and if we haven’t responded well in the past, we can choose to co-work with new ways and new streams of thought about what we can do and who we can be, about the very fact we can choose.
We have been given that innate gift from God; it means it is impossible to take it away.
Many, so called “Health Initiatives” try to remove the choice through drugs. Poor versions of psychotherapy, attempt to help, by convincing a person to deny there is a need, at all. This effort actually trains a person to use their free-will, not to grow, but run. Grace, on the other hand, teaches to forgive offenders, stand back up, retain or regain dignity and become determined to never become like what has hurt us. God enlists our design, so, instead of yielding to attempts to ravish our souls, we are given life through faith in Christ, to rise inside again, and give to our loved ones what we will allow God to give to us. Things like real forgiveness, acceptance in honest failure, an understanding of limitations and encouragement for growth. Here’s the catch, we must allow them to be given to us first or we won’t have them to give to our loved ones. Remember, our children are watching, and they need to see us become honest and transparent with ourselves, to give them the courage to live in life affirming manners. This is God’s goal, and with Grace accepted continually, maybe it can be ours, and we may aspire to ‘dare greatly’ so our children’s place won’t be with ‘cold and timid’ souls, or peers, and instead they may know “great enthusiasms, the great devotions” intended for their hearts. Sometimes a gentle honest word inwardly allows that outwardly, to our loved ones. Accompany that with the effort to move forward in a new manner in life, it can instill a lifetime of Hope, in a waiting watching heart.
God Bless you in your most honest life.
Farmers make a community not one Mega Corp taking advantage of a bylaw and Greenbelt Plan to fill its pockets. The township and region must inform the province again and again the damage it’s doing to diversity of our pristine area.
“It’s very bad planning and makes a joke out of our conservation authority “
We have lost almost 50 hobby farms in the last 5 years which can never be returned back to part time or young farmers. This is all going the wrong direction for diversity and keeping our land pure.
Please call your regional councillor or any other elected official to stop is carnage. Once it’s done there is no coming back. Life will change for all of us.
Our new Mayor Bobbie Drew keeps saying she loves the Greenbelt, and yet, just two months in office, she has done everything in her power to hand Scugog’s Greenbelt over to developers.
In January, she supported Bill 66 at Regional Council. This proposed legislation, now cancelled, would have exempted developers from all environmental regulation, opening the Greenbelt to development through secret deals with no public notice or opportunity for appeal. While other Greenbelt community Mayors, municipal councils, and planners expressed serious concerns about Bill 66, Mayor Drew posted a statement of support on the Township’s website–inaccurately claiming Scugog needed more employment land (it doesn’t–we have plenty, most of it vacant).
Undeterred by facts or researched opinion, the Mayor this week declared a need to build subdivisions in Scugog’s Greenbelt. The source of this inspiration is unknown as there was no public consultation or evidence provided to support the assertion. However, from her comments to Council, the Mayor apparently believes that just a little bit of sprawl (sensitively done of course) will somehow help pay for infrastructure (though that hasn’t been the case anywhere else) and can be done, amazingly, while protecting farmland (though I am pretty sure sprawl requires land).
As a result, at Council on Monday, she promoted a resolution asking the Ontario Government to permit Scugog to expand the development boundaries of any settlement in the Township, contrary to current Greenbelt legislation. This resolution passed with no financial, economic, environmental or demographic analysis and received little discussion and no opposition from the attending Councilors. In effect, Scugog Council advocated for a major policy change from the province, one that could have profound and long-term implications for residents, in the complete absence of any measure of evaluation. I am at a loss to explain the motivations of the Mayor–but I do know when a community discovers fake leaders, real ones will stand up.
David Le Roy, Scugog
Without realizing it, many of us confuse non-attachment with non caring. In actuality, the two are completely different.
Not caring suggests apathy: “I couldn’t care less. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Non-attachment, on the other hand, means: “I’ll do everything possible. I’ll put the odds in my favour. I’ll work hard and concentrate. I’ll do my best to succeed, but if I don’t, that’s okay to.”
Being attached to an outcome, holding on, takes an enormous amount of energy. Not only during an effort, but often after an effort is complete, after you’ve failed, been let down or were dealt a bad hand.
Being non-attached, however, creates emotional freedom. It means holding on tightly, but letting go lightly. It suggests trying hard, really caring, but at the same time being completely willing to let go of the outcome.
Attachments create fear that gets in the way; what if I lose? What if the deal doesn’t go through? What if I am rejected? What if...what if...what if...
Your belief that everything must work out exactly as you want it to with no glitches creates enormous pressure; everything rides on your success.
Non-attachment works wonders. It allows you to have fun in your efforts, and to enjoy the process. It helps you succeed at whatever you are doing by giving you the confidence you need. It takes the pressure off. You win regardless of the outcome.
The act of not worrying helps you stay focused. It helps you stay out of your own way. You know in your heart that, even if things don’t work out the way you hope they will, everything will be alright. You’ll be okay. You’ll learn from the experience. You’ll do better next time.
This attitude of acceptance helps you move on to the next step in your path. Rather than being lost or immobilized in disappointment or regret, you simply move on - with confidence and joy!
Combination of many lessons