Optimism vs Hope

I’m thinking about the difference between optimism and hope. One can be optimistic because one believes things will go well. In some cases optimism is good and natural. However optimism can also be due to a lack of information about the potential problems or because one deliberately rejects the facts that disagrees with one. Therefore optimism itself is not a virtue. We should not be trying to “choose optimism” when the situation does not warrant it. I picture NASA scientists preparing for a rocket launch. We want them to be optimistic because all the tests, models and simulations suggest they will Continue reading

the day after the American election

I started blogging right after Stephen Harper was re-elected. Back then my blog was called “Another Step to Take…” I was sitting in shock, staring at election results, and feeling horrified that Canada could re-elect someone so blatantly bad. I had been out knocking on doors during the election. I had helped drive people to the polls. Blogging was something I started doing as another step, started the day after an election, for trying to work for changes the next election. I started off blogging about politics. Since then my blog has shifted. I’ve blogged more on homeschooling. I changed Continue reading

staying involved in activism while focusing on the homeschooling

The election is over and I am trying to think again about how I can be involved in making change in the world. I would like to be involved in one of the local organizations but I cannot see that happening right now. I withdrew from the anti-poverty organization I used to be involved with some time ago because it moved in a direction I didn’t like. I am teaching minecraft math on Monday evenings and I don’t want to take more than the one evening a week away from my family. Then the kids are old enough I find Continue reading

#BarbaricCulturalPractices

Stop Harper Resource Page

Just when I think this election can’t get more disgusting, it gets more disgusting. Apparently the Conservatives want to take a tip from the Spanish Inquisition, when neighbours court report each other. (Did you know that during the Spanish Inquisition Christians of Muslim descent were required to leave their doors open on Thursday evenings and Friday mornings to prove to their neighbours that they weren’t bathing? Because you know, that was considered a ‪#‎barbaricculturalpractice‬.) This isn’t about domestic violence. If Harper wanted he could announce more funding or domestic violence shelters and for programs for victims of domestic violence. But Continue reading

There are so many election issues that matter.

One of the reasons that an eleven week election period feels like a drag is the that politicians and the media focus too much on the wrong things. They focus on mud slinging, on scandal and on just a small handful of controversial issues, when there are much more interesting issues at play. Eleven weeks might seem like a long time for talking about the Duffy trial or to hear politicians bashing one another, but if a person is trying to get a handle on what the different political parties are actually doing or speaking of doing, 11 weeks doesn’t seem that long. Let’s talk about Continue reading

Election 2015: Stop Harper Resource List

Stop Harper Resource Page

Harper has increased the election period because he knows he can outspend other parties. That means those of us who want him out have work to do. We need to donate money to the parties and other organizations working to campaign against him. We need to volunteer for those parties and organizations. We need to help make up for the lack of funds that other parties face, either through our money or our time. Here is a quick list of some of the organizations that… well… they don’t all say straight out that they want Harper out of office but they want Harper Continue reading

dreaming of a good government…

I am withdrawing from an organization I have been very involved in for about three years. There is some sadness to leaving and some relief. This whole last half a year I’ve been stepping back big by bit. I wrote during the summer about my difficulty trying to care about things while still maintaining the emotional calm necessary for caring for the kids. Worries about the issues – poverty, environment, violence, destruction of democracy, etc – are hard enough. On top of that there is another challenge, that of trying to find efficient, effective methods of creating change. Different people Continue reading

How does one homeschool, with all the intensity that involves, and be a compassionate, informed person at the same time?

This is my daughter's hand reaching out to touch a thistle. It seemed strangely appropriate.

Sometimes it is really hard to keep balance. How does one balance parenting with everything else? I don’t want to undervalue my husband’s contribution to our family life – his is amazing – but I suspect I’m the support pole the children lean on and there are times when the burden of having them lean on me feels to tough. I feel all hollow and empty and like I have nothing to give them and then I’m so keenly aware of them pulling on me, talking to me, seeking approval and asking for attention and I don’t know what to Continue reading

food regulations

A friend on facebook posted a link to this article: Michigan Officials Destroy $5,000.00 worth of Good Organic Food from Family Farm. Besides leaving me wondering whether the inclusion of the “.00” was meant to make the amount appear larger to the quick casual reader, the headline makes me think about a time when I was a teenager, and a bunch of 4-H beef was seized from a butcher’s shop because his license was as a mobile butcher and he had butchered it all on his property instead of the other farmers. There was a big outcry over that because Continue reading

ya, the revolution really isn’t here. Could we keep working on other things?

It is weird how life can change as certain people enter or exit one’s life, even tangentially, because of the ideas those people bring. I can look back over the last half a year and see how certain people’s ideas about revolution instead of reform have entered my social circle. I can see their effect not just on myself, but on some of my friends. It’s interesting to look at. Some of the people attempting to boycott the Ontario election have expressed a belief that revolution is going to come soon. I remember hearing the same belief during the Occupy Continue reading