Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Gabby Petito: "She Touched The World." Others Not So Much

 Gabby Petito has been found! 

Thank the gods she has been located. Well her body has been located. The family can at least have that much. Still the boyfriend needs to answer what happened. The incident is not a good one; girl goes missing and last one to see her is the boy friend. The boyfriend being cagey. The media gets a hold of the story.  There are pictures being painted daily by both the main stream media and the social media universe.  Gabby is shown to be a happy full of life woman who may have been with a shallow controlling boyfriend. The last picture we see is a distraught woman dealing with an abusive possessive traveling companion. The Parents of Gabby reported her missing on September 11.  Numerous stories came out and helped lead to the successful find of her dead body. People took a deep interest and made it personal.  Some reason the masses connected with Gabby and her family. It is the one redeeming aspect of the tragedy, people showed that they care. The search result is not what anyone wanted. The family is seeking to grieve in private after the news of Gabby's found body. 

Gabby represents the ugly in what can happen to a young woman.  She was vlogging and sharing her life with the world. She went on a hiking trip with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend is missing (I expect them to find him dead at his own hand, but time will tell) and believed to be in the bush somewhere in Florida.  She represents the young, the possibilities of life and all what it can offer the young population. Her death is awful and there are many who mourn for her and her family. 

So why am I writing about a story when it is so wildly covered? It is precisely for the reason, everyone is talking about it. I want to jump on the train as well, who wouldn't? The story is compelling. You have a mystery, the anticipation of what is to come, some hope, a villainess twist, a distraught loving family, a fair maiden, you can feel empathy for the characters in this tale. How can you not? We have daughters, sisters, friends, friends of friends who could star in this story. A GoFundMe page is likely to be set up (one was set up for the search) for the family. The woman could be someone you likely know. This is what seemingly gravitates folks to a situation, a story; the connection it has to us, the familiar, Gabby could be someone you know or Gabby could be us (really you). Her parents could be you, or someone you are close with. It all comes down to us (me). 

This is why I think all the other Women, girls are not thought of, because they do not resonate with you. They are not the girl next door to you, the neighbour, the friends of yours. The media doesn't recognize them as the Gabbys of the world. The main stream audience doesn't affiliate with them, doesn't empathize with them, can't understand them. The media also does a weird thing when the "other" women go missing or are murdered. The media doesn't paint a nice picture. The woman is not pictured as an angel with a full life going on and ahead for her. Nope, the "other women" are not angels, in fact, accordingly to the media,  these Women could have been seeking their own demise. Who are these "other women" and why are they not being found? Why is there no media blitz, no social media frenzy? Why is there no search?  As Joy Reid said "No one is looking for us." 

The "other Women" are the Native Women, the Black Women, Asian Women, Latino Women, Trans Women, Gay Women, Women of Colour and Poor Women. 

Since the start of pandemic, there's been a spike in missing Black and Latina women - a phenomenon that follows yearly upticks of missing people of color, according to experts.  Data from the National Crime Information Center found that 19,545 Black women ages 18 and over went missing in 2020.  Nearly 71,000 Black girls ages 17 and under went missing last year.

No one wants Women to go missing, to go be killed, no one. The Gabbys of the world should be looked for, should be spoken about, should be grieved. The same could be said of 18 year old Jennifer Catcheway a beautiful young Woman. The Jennifers of the world should be granted the same attention, the same empathy, the same concern. Thing is Jennifer is Indigenous. 


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Being Nice Should Be Announced To The World

I was hanging around with Ceremony people in Vancouver a number of years ago. There was this one fellow telling me about his efforts at Ceremony. He is what we called a Skhabay (Oshkaabewis is the proper way to say it in Ojibwe), a Helper. He wondered how come he didn't get things. There are gifts given out but usually the gifts go to the "head people;" people who conduct the Ceremony or have a good title. He felt unappreciated and not recognized for his work. After all, many of the Ceremonies are set up by the Helper. The protocol followed by people is to present a gift to the Elder, Medicine person when you seek their help. The Helper is important to the Ceremony but is not always acknowledged. This is not always the case as the Give Away is a Ceremony where people are acknowledged. The Give Away is exactly that, a give away of gifts. Ideally everyone in the crowd of a Ceremony (like a Sundance Give Away, Powwow Give Away, a Memorial Give Away, a Birth announcement Give Away, etc.) is given something. The type of gift is not the significance, it is the gift and what it represents and how the receiver of the Gift acknowledges the Gift Givers. For the fellow sharing his frustration with me, it is a normal feeling. We all need to be recognized once in awhile, to be acknowledged. Sometimes we need to speak up and let others know we are working hard, and should be acknowledged. I realize it is not always acceptable to talk about ourselves, but asking for validation is not a bad thing. The Helper hit me up for one hundred bucks, he borrowed. I never did get the hundred back (smiling as I remember this).

Three things I know I don't like: getting the middle finger, someone who lies to me, being called cheap. I find giving someone the middle finger is an ugly gesture and is actually worse than telling someone to go "F-themselves." The anger I feel from being giving the finger is visceral and immediate. I just want to pull out a defender shotgun (the short barrel black guns) and shoot at a concrete wall, and that is how much it upsets me. Why it brings such a reaction is beyond my understanding.  The second thing I don't like, being lied to is insulting. The lie breaks your trust. Lying to someone to make yourself look better is just not right. I am not a fan of the lie. Not the story lie (aka the bull shit story), but the lie to excuse your behaviour or actions, that lie is no good. The lie doesn't make me angry, it makes me sad. So sad that I want to take out a sharp bowie knife and cut up the laces on my Kirkland (Costco brand)  running shoes. Makes me want to have my shoes fall out of my feet as I am walking in silence.  The third thing I dislike is the cheap label. I'm not referring to the something is cheap, inexpensive label. If you can get something on the cheap good for you. I am talking about the person who is selfish, greedy and not willing to share. There are different kinds of cheap. There are people who hoard things. I am like that, I like things but end up giving things away. I do not agree with those who are cheap, not willing to share, the person who hoards for themselves. I know many people who are very generous. My Dad was one of those people who didn't know how not to share.  I also know people who begrudge others; begrudge them of having a decent job, of having a decent vehicle, of having a good partner in their lives and a host of other things. This person is the one who is truly cheap. They are insatiable with their want of things and begrudge others who may have a little bit of something. These three things should not be celebrated. Some people will say, "I'm forthright and honest" but in reality they are just being arseholes. Yet they announce their actions to the world like it is a good thing. 

There are things I like, it is the good deed, the unselfish act. Even when someone is not looking they do the nice act of giving, of sharing and being kind. The person who is working all day long in a difficult job but has the time to give a couple of bucks to the "down-on-their-luck-with-their-hand-out" individual. They are tired, maybe not having the best day but it doesn't change who they are; nice people. Then there are those who go on social media and complain: "Lorrie Steeves is really tired of getting harrassed (sic) by the drunken native guys in the skywalks. we need to get these people educated so they can go make their own damn money instead of hanging out and harrassing (sic) the honest people who are grinding away working hard for their money. We all donate enough money to the government to keep thier (sic) sorry assess (sic) on welfare, so shut the f**k up and don't ask me for another handout!" I am not sure but this doesn't sound much like being nice? Maybe I am missing something here. If we can go announce to the world we are not nice, shouldn't we be able to announce to the world, we are nice? 

I get it, if we tell the world how nice we are, it takes the "nice" out of being nice. It seems we are tainting the good with the message that we did good. It confuses me a bit though. I mean why is it so normal and accepted to say all sorts of nasty mean things? Yet if we say something nice, something charitable, something thoughtful, it is not looked at as a good thing? We are quick to condemn the good announcement of a good nice deed. I want to tell you about the things we have done and how they are nice things. Convention dictates it is not kosher to announce the nice things you do to the world. We should announce the good things; either some else's good or our own good. 

There have been many initiatives to showcase role models (we automatically assume role model to be good, right?) and good things happening around the world and in our community. So why can't we announce our own good things, good deeds? I am sure you are doing some good stuff and no one but you knows. I guess it is to be humble and I get that. Still be brave and let the world know you have done good and you hope to inspire others to do good as well. 

Let me start: My friend called me last night and ask to sleep over. After getting the okay from my wife, I said sure to my friend, "sure I can let you sleep at the house," and my wife sent me to pick him up. How's that for a start? Now you, please. 





Saturday, September 11, 2021

See My Scar? Where is Your Scar?

 "Hey, don't you worry about it Chief, Its not permanent. You want to see something permanent? Ba-ba-boom, Heh heh heh."  The movie Jaws has Quint and Matt Hooper comparing scars as the Police Chief Brody doesn't have the scars that measure up. 

jaws+copy.jpg (500×249) (bp.blogspot.com)

This the world we live in, we are always measuring who has the biggest or most scars. We do it with all things: our physical wounds, our battles, our income, our family turmoil, our historical wrongs, our psyche, our spiritual wounds, our grief, our internal damage. Who has the biggest scars? The Japanese sure have some big scars, after all they had the bomb dropped on them. Not just the bomb but two god-damned bombs. Can you imagine the scar that has left? The Jewish population has at least 6 million scars and no one can deny that is a huge scar. The African Nation has some big scars as well; from having people stolen and sold in slavery to having their lands raped by greedy colonizers. What a large number of scars there for sure.  We hear the stories and are shown the scars. 

There are whole nations with so many scars, and there are individuals with many scars as well. There are the people who have faced violence, been raped, been tortured - physically - mentally - spiritually, have been killed. They have scars. So with all the scars, who has the most? Who has suffered the most? I think it depends on who is showing the scars. With Chief Brody in the Jaws movie he tried to look at his own scars when the fisherman Quint and the scientist Hooper were busy outdoing each other with showing their scars and the stories that went along with those scars. I share my scars and measure them against other people's scars as well. With grief; the loss of a Mom, a Dad, a Brother, a Son is a scar. We measure of grief against the grief of others. All different types of scars are measured. We see other folks with scars; the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. The Black population being killed over and over again by the police force. The many people who are seeking refuge in the United States, in Canada and in Western Europe, they will show you many different scars. The 26 million refugees that exist right now throughout the World will show you different scars. 

Today and the following days we will be bombarded (no pun intended) with stories about the scars the United States of America has to show. The US is reminding the world about how seriously they were wounded and they have the scars to prove it. They will show you and tell you how horrible it was to get the scar. They will also tell you they have come out better because of the wounds and the scar will always remind them of how strong, how tough they are. 

The United States of America suffered a major wound in September 11, 2001. The wound came by way of an attack from the sky on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville. There is a song written about the Attack, entitled "where were you when the world stopped turning?" The message is of course about the scar and it is quite possibly the worse scar ever to have happened. It is the biggest scar from the modern United States population's point of view. Now ask an Indigenous person who has had their land occupied by the Americans and they will tell you about and show you different scars. Ask the African American and they may have different stories and scars to show you. I mean 400 years of being whipped, chained, punished, raped and owned could do that. 

There is no doubt the Twin Towers collapsing and the death of 3,000 people was tragic, horrible and awful. Is the biggest scar in the world? We all have our own scars and measure them with our own scales. We can appreciate their pain when they are showing you the scars. We hope they also understand there are many people out there carrying scars as well. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

I Need Validation. Please Give Me Validation

 I'm sad. Sixteen years ago today, my boy was sitting in the closet at this Mom's dead. He hanged himself. We didn't get into the apartment until the afternoon the day after he was dead. He couldn't cope with life anymore, the addiction and the sorrow of life. This was the day I prayed in earnest. I prayed so hard hoping, wishing for his death not to be true.  For him to be alive. I am crying right now. I live with the loss of my boy who was 20 years old. The praying didn't count for anything. My boy was dead. He his tongue sticking out of his mouth, black. The apartment stank of death. The way we found him was through having the police open the door. We stood outside the door like we were intruders. The cop standing tall by the door as a guard. My boy in a body bag with just his head sticking out, dead. It is called suicide. I think it was escape for him. He must have been suffering so much. And what did we do? We neglected him. We enabled him. We shamed him. We scolded him. We loved him. I need validation. 


My ex-sister-in-law, her husband, my ex-partner (the mother of my boy), my wife, my brother, my cousin, My cousin's wife, the cop and the medical examiner were there in the little apartment. My boy's mom asking me to help look for a note. I saw my boy's suitcase in the bedroom. All of his life in that one suitcase. I have the suitcase in a closet in the basement. I have yet to deal with the contents. I had given my boy a nice Homburg hat before he had died. I picked it up in Gas-Town Vancouver. I thought it would be nice for me. It was interesting he kept this hat. Because I would take him to buy baseball hats. He would take great care in selecting a hat and making sure it fit. The sad thing is, much, even almost all of his possessions went to the dealers of dread, the drug dealer. Can you imagine how a person feels to give away all his possessions just to satisfy the addiction? The hopelessness of it? My ex-sister-in-law, and ex-mother-in-law never liked me. As my daughter has said to me, "do you blame them, you were mean to their sister, their daughter?" So it was strange to have them there at the bleakest worse time of our lives. They were there for my Boy's Mom.  I need validation. 

The next morning after I got up, I walked into the living room sat at the edge of couch, fell to the floor crying; "no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no." No amount of crying, no about pleading with god to make it not real did anything to make the truth disappear. I am not sure what happened next. The steps of funeral arrangements were taken over mainly by my ex-partner's sister. They made the choice to have the Wake at their house. Despite the fact they had no relationship with my boy. I just went along with everything which took place. I had no mind to think about anything but my Boy's death. It was early in the death truth and of what suicide did to us. MyBoy was buried in the same grave site as his cousin. Sadly his cousin had taken his own life years before; the son of my ex-sister-in-law. I was not helpful in the services or planning. I was just there. My friends came and helped out. I need validation. 

 I have been a bad father. I have been a bad son. I have been a bad partner. I have been a bad friend. I have been a rotten person. I did try to be a good person but failed and failed much. I tried to be kind. I tried to be generous. I tried to be thoughtful. I tried to be loving. I tried a bit of loyalty. I was a human being. I need validation. 

So what do I do now? I mourn my boy everyday. I don't mourn my parents or my brother or my friends that way I mourn my Boy. I do miss them and think of them ever so often. Many of the times are filled with a memory of good things about them. With my boy it is filled with dread and the end of promise. I feel that our kids, my kids should be better than me in all aspects of life. That is what I want for my kids, my grandkids, to be filled with contentment, with happiness and a good life. My Boy can never have that. I want my Boy to be remembered. To be thought of with good feeling. I want people to know my pain. I need validation. 


There are so many people I have tried to be good to; I have lent money, provided gifts, praised them, helped them, visited them, just tried to be happy for them. It means nothing. Either I do it because it is good to do or I do it because I want them to be nice to me, which is not right. No amount of people being kind to me back is worth anything. Either they like me or they don't, gifts mean nothing. So when they ignore me, it is because they know me and I am no good. I have done much wrong in my life. It has cost me. My Boy took his life. I know I had a hand in it. I didn't tie the rope, but he went through much in his short life and I am to blame. So I can blame the drug dealers, the drugs, the monster of addiction but still I have to bear the blame as well. My words, my talks with him, which I thought were words of wisdom were empty. Cliches maybe, I don't know. I just know he didn't hear or maybe I couldn't have said the right things.  I need validation. 

Life is a weird, hard, fun and dreadful road. I can say all sorts of things, which should make sense of the situation: "We have no control over anyone. Choices are individually made." It matters not.  I miss my Boy. So much I think about joining him. Just when will I chose to go be with him? I need validation. 


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Dave Courchene Jr: It is about Identity - It is about Spirit.

"Elder Nii Gaani Aki Inini addresses the importance of understanding and knowing one’s identity, history, and ancestral teachings. Elder Nii Gaani Aki Inini shares the Seven Sacred Laws of the Anishinaabe People, and highlights the importance of rites of passage and going to the land in healing. The Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness has partnered with the Sagkeeng Mino Pimatiziwin Family Treatment Centre to share teachings and provide guidance on how to heal from addictions.

The Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness is a place for reconnecting to the Earth & sharing Indigenous ancestral knowledge, founded on the 7 Sacred Laws. Visit our website at www.turtlelodge.org to learn more."

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 "We are the people of the Bear... We were born of the Bear... We came in the most natural way... The Creator had a vision of the Earth... As people we are connected to Spirit because that is where we came from... We are born of Spirit... We understand the realm of Spiritual through Ceremony... We understand the  relationship we have with our Ancestors... In the Spiritual Realm the Prophets... try to find a way to reach us... to help us out of the deep darkness in today's world... that have been created by negative values... one of the most negative values is that man can control the earth, that he can control nature, can do whatever he wants to the land... we see everyday where man is out of control with this greed... thinking and not knowing that Mother Earth is alive... That is the understanding we have that Mother Earth is Alive... Many of us have a close relationship with the Bear... What an awesome gift to have a relationship with the animals... 1st Teaching is Respect, the Buffalo - Respect means to give and give and give... bring love and kindness into this world... the Eagle is the symbol of Love... people don't know the real power and essence of love... everything we have been given out of Love... we need to love ourselves... who we are - we can go in the morning and see in the mirror and say I am proud to be Anishinaabe... You can not intellectualize who the Creator is... GrandFather help me I am weak here... What the people need is hope... that help is there... The Spirit gives us help... The Teaching of Sabe - be honest to the Creator, to yourself, how you feeling... The Law of Wisdom represented by the Beaver... to know Wisdom is to know your gift and to use it to serve the world... The Wolf Humble... We are connected in the same way of the Creator... The Elders of our people are with the people... We live in the world today filled with so much arrogance... Turtle, this is a place of our people... Grandmother Turtle was there when laws were given... Turtle carries the memory of the Teachings... We should be an can be the leaders of our own lands... Our own people have to be in position to share knowledge... We have to be strong enough to walk the way the Creator gave us... Everything is there is to have what the old people told us that we have a good life... "

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

"I Gave Him Tobacco, the Highest Honour You Can Give."

 Just what is the highest honour you can do for someone? Is it naming your child after someone, or is it something else, some grand gesture? A lot of years ago I had a disagreement with a relative. He was the first cousin of my Mom. The gentleman was about 12 years older than I was. The disagreement was in how I saw his disrespect of my Dad. He and my Dad were on Council in our Reserve. My Dad at the time was still an active drinker while the cousin was not. So I can see his reluctance to work with my Dad. Still I think the cousin didn't do right by my Dad. When they were suppose to go to meetings out in the City, the cousin would tell my Dad, "I'll be by to pick you up." He didn't pick up my Dad and Dad would be waiting all day for his colleague to pick him up. Meanwhile the cousin would stop and pick up his friend who was not on Council and take him to the meetings rather than take my Dad. I guess maybe the cousin felt my Dad would drink while in the City. I am only guessing but I imagine that is why. I didn't know this about the cousin until I started working with him and my Mom warned me about him. So I went for a ride with the cousin and I asked him about it. I told him "I don't really like people disrespecting my Dad" and brought up his past conduct with my Dad. So the cousins response was this, "I don't know if you see this but I gave your Dad the highest respect, highest honour, I gave him Tobacco." For me this was just wrong. I know the meaning of Tobacco as the first medicine and the respect you give people when asking, gifting them. Still I felt this was hollow. Not that the cousin didn't honour the Tobacco, he was a man of great knowledge and Teachings. Maybe in his mind he did show respect to my Dad. For me I look at his other actions and didn't think he really showed respect. I think like all of us, he was just a Human Being capable of great things and also of wrong. 

There are so many ways to show honour to someone and it is done everyday. There are streets being named in honour of an athlete; a day in honour of someone; a medal given to a singer by the government and statues that have been erected in honour of someone. How do we measure the highest form of honour, of respect? In the Native community Giving is part of their lives. Indians are always giving and honouring people. Reminds me of when we were kids playing minor hockey in the Reserve, we had a team called the Fort Alexander Jets. It was a kids team coached by the late Jimmy Fontaine and others. The City of Winnipeg had a professional hockey team called the Winnipeg Jets. I think this must have been in 1972 or so. The community lead by our Chief and others reached out to the Winnipeg Jets to have the kids meet the team. So a big event took place (in our eyes) at the Winnipeg Arena. The Fort Alexander Jets skated before the National anthem and stood at the blue line to shake hands with the professional hockey players. The kids gave each player a beautiful beaded medallion. The Winnipeg Jets gave a game day handout and a small patch. The Chief of our community gave the coaches and management Beaded Buckskin Jackets. You have to understand it was a very big deal for this group of Indians from a Reserve to be at the event. It was an honour for the kids to be skating (even though it was one time around the rink) and for the community to take part. So our Chief, our community honoured the Winnipeg Jets with gifts. I wonder if anyone of those hockey people involved with the Winnipeg Jets at the time remember the event. It was most likely just a blip on their hockey experience. I hope they do remember the day all those years ago. 

It is part of the life of our people to Honour others. I really like that about Indigenous people. Honouring is not limited to Indigenous folks, I imagine all cultures honour people. Honouring is not limited to the deserving person. Nope, honouring is done for almost everyone. Just a little while ago, infamous rapist Harvey Weinstein had his Appointment as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire stripped away by the Queen. Prior to his being jailed for being a raping monster, Weinstein was celebrated, was respected and feared for his power in the entertainment industry. Many folks were under his spell of power. There are many others honoured who should not be respected. Suspected rapist and known racist Donald Trump had reached the highest honour in the United States by being selected as their leader. Is that the highest honour, to be selected to lead people? It is an amazing show of respect I imagine. People believe in you so much they make you their voice, now that is honour. 

There are so many examples of honouring in society; having a Day in your honour (Columbus Day), a month named in your honour (Black History Month), a vehicle named in your honour ( the Pontiac), a helicopter named in your honour (Apache), a US Military operations for assassination  named after you (Geronimo), and naming a sports team after you (Washington Redskins). The honouring of someone can be subjective, I guess? There are more personal signs of giving the highest honour: naming the baby after someone. You ask someone to be the Godparent of your child. These Godparents will look after your child should some horrible event happens and you die an agonizing death.  You decide to have your girl-boy friend's name forever imprinted on your arm by way of getting stabbed with a needle dipped in ink, the tattoo. There are so many ways in which honour is bestowed. 

Honour Song For Dad

Indigenous people are always doing an honouring of someone or something. Go to any big Indian event and you will see someone being gifted. They could be getting a Blanket put on their shoulder. You will see someone being presented with an Indian name. Someone being honoured with a Song. Some Dancer at a Powwow will honour the Drum with a Whistle. It is part of who they are as a society, they honour lives. So there are many ways to give honour. Sure I give Tobacco as well and it is indeed a sign of Respect as Tobacco is Sacred. The act of passing Tobacco is an honourable practice and is done regularly in Indian country. 

For me I think the highest honour you can give to someone is to be kind to them. To treat a person in a good way, caring for them is the highest honour anyone can do. It is super easy to be cheeky, to be sarcastic, to be rude, to be indifferent, to ignore someone, but being kind is showing them they are special, that they matter. Being kind, being good to someone, keeping your word to someone is the highest honour you can give. 

Zhawenjige

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Why Wish For Bad Thing To Happen So You Can React?

 "I wish they would have tried that on me." I was watching the news (again) and some young Asian woman was attacked. In another news segment a Muslim Woman had her Hijab pulled off her head. Every day there is ugly happening to people who don't deserve it (who deserves what I don't know).  We watch these events and think what we would have done if we were there. We say things like "If I was there, I wouldn't let them get away with that." We believe we would act either as a hero in an ugly situation or as vengeance where it is needed. We even envision our daughters getting hurt, raped or killed and we say "if anyone hurt my kids, my wife I would kill them." Why do we think like this? It is like we are tempting or daring something to happen. Something terrible to happen to someone we love just so we can show that we would do violence to someone. Now the is some messed up way of thinking. The truth is we really don't know how we would react in some situations. Sure we want to believe we would be the morality in an ugly happening. We would want to be the person who stands up to wrong. I wish I knew how I would react as well. 

A friend of mine says we all have a certain number of wishes and we tend to waste some of them. Like when we are wishing for a matchstick so we can light our cigarette; "Man I wish I had a lighter. Geez I wish I had a dollar."  He says why wish for the little things, you could be using all your wishes? Same thing, why wish for bad stuff when you could be wishing for good things? Why wish to be there when a Woman is being attacked by her jealous insecure husband in the bingo hall? Or what about when a monster was stabbing a young  man on the GreyHound Bus? In this situation there was no intervention of the monster. Lot of criticism took place and many not at the scene decried the people on the bus for not stopping the assault. A series of papers were written on the actions taken and not taken in situations  - Bystander Apathy.  We can never tell what people will do when a bad thing happens. 

What is it that we want to prove? Do we want to be the person who runs into a burning house, rescuing the baby from being burnt up? My cousin lost her baby in a fire. The fire was set on purpose at a daycare by a daycare worker. She wanted to be seen as a hero. She ended up killing a little two year old baby. The daycare worker got off and was not found guilty of setting the fire but everyone knows. So this person wished for bad things to happen so they could react. Instead of just wishing they went and did the bad thing. 

So I have no visions of being hero for some unforeseen bad thing. Bad things happen all the time, no need to wish for them. If you really want to be a hero, do something. There are hundreds of things to do; donate blood. Can you imagine the life you literally save when you donate blood? Donate food at a food bank. You could be saving someone from going hungry, most likely a child. Volunteer to help out somewhere. Become friends at the local New Comers agency. Make friends with an Indian. They would like to meet new people I am pretty sure. No need to wish for bad things to happen just to show you can do bad back. We all believe we are capable of doing justice (what ever that means) to injustice. 

There is a belief in our community/culture that we all have power. Who knows you could have the power to make things happen. So when you say to your child "don't play on the counter you are going fall and break your leg." We say "don't say it like that because you might have the power to make it happen." Your child will end up falling and breaking their leg. I bet some of you have felt that you had the power of foresight, haven't you? You were thinking of a song, a movie and next thing you know, it's there on the tv, on the radio. You do have power. So use your power. Just use it for good things to happen. Like a cool tune on the radio. A good wish for your friend to visit. Wish for your Mom to win bingo if she is a bingo player. There are many good things to wish for rather than bad and sad things. So here's hoping you don't waste all your wishes on bad stuff or using your power on bad stuff. 

Just a post script to the last notion of having the power to make things happen. I had an operation when I was about 36 or 37. It was one of those "snip snip" operations, a vasectomy.  I told colleagues about my decision. This one fellow, an Elder told me I shouldn't do it. He said "what would happen if your son died, not to replace him or anything, but there is the possibility." Turned out my Son did die, he of course killed himself. So not sure if the fellow foretold it. Still what he said was not a good thing to say. I know in our community, the Indian community there are some things which are not spoken about, but I don't know what they are. I do know but usually it's after I am told.  So I say again, why wish for bad things to happen? If you are going to wish, let it be good things. 




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