• books,  homeschooling,  the ethical life

    What do we owe our fellow human? Ethics in children’s books.

    Without meaning to, I picked up from the library two books whose plots are in some ways very similar and in other ways very different. The books provided us with a framework for some interesting ethical discussions. One of the books is Dr. Seuss’ Thidwick The Big-Hearted Moose. In that story a kind moose agrees to allow a bug to hitch a ride only to find himself soon burdened down by a whole crowd of animals. When hunters draw near he escapes only by throwing off his horns and running on his own. The animals are not so lucky. The other book is called The Rescue Bunnies by Doreen Cronin…

  • meaning of life,  religion,  the ethical life

    "Is everything okay mom?"

    “Is everything okay mom?” my sensitive little guy asks me after doing something he knows is wrong. He sounds really upset, so I say yes, everything is okay. We can clean up the mess. This continues over and over for a few days till I stop and say, no, it isn’t okay. Yes, we can clean up the mess, but I don’t want to have to keep doing that. The messes and problems my children cause are really not all that serious, yet they bring to light a difficult skill and that is the need to be able to maintain a sense of things being alright while acknowledging that something isn’t…

  • meaning of life,  the ethical life

    sad stories and questions arising from them

    One situation I’ve been reading about online is the story of Veronica Rose, an American child just two years old. On New Years Veronica was handed over from her adoptive parents to her biological father. The details of the story are unclear. Veronica’s biological mother accuses the father of refusing to financially support her unless she marry him and so she said she had to give the child up for adoption because she couldn’t afford to raise Veronica herself. Veronica’s biological father says the biological mother cut off all contact and refused to answer his calls or communicate, so how was he supposed to offer support? The adoptive parents say…

  • culture,  homeschooling,  Occupy,  the ethical life

    Social Skills, Homeschooling and Occupy

    I’ve written a bit already about my experience with my local Occupy group, and how I love the idea of Occupy but had problems with the reality. So when I recently saw a link to an article about Occupy Toronto, I was very interested to read it. After a lengthy recounting of some of the safety hazards and failures of Occupy Toronto, the article concludes: The unwillingness of Occupy Toronto’s membership to develop and enforce standards of behaviour consistent with the values of social justice exemplifies a deeply flawed process. These problems are not unique to the Occupy movement; they have been present in many organizations, including our own. Yet they…

  • culture,  movies,  the ethical life

    arts, culture and environment

    About a week ago I went to a candidate’s forum focused on environmental questions. The Green Party, Liberal, Conservative and First People’s National Party were there. The Conservative candidate didn’t bother showing up, but that’s another rant for another time. Right now what I want to write about is one of the questions that was asked. The question was regarding the topic of good green jobs and promoting a green economy, and the question was, have the candidates ever considered the arts as a source of green jobs? It was an interesting question, I thought, and the mainstream candidates were all struck dumb. The First People’s National Party candidate, Will…