People I'd like to Have a Coffee With

The world is filled with amazing people with amazing stories. Some of which I have been fortunate enough to meet, although their names are not known nor are they celebrities. There are few celebrities I would want to spend time with, too many are shallow as reality TV has shown us. Today I heard a 76 year old woman speak about her experiences running an orphanage in Cambodia and was amazed by the stories of the children in her care. If I could fill an autograph book it would be with signatures from people like her, people who make a difference. I want to use my time better, fill it with learning about courageous people and those who truly have made a difference in this world.

A list of people I would like to sit and have a cup of coffee with to hear their story:

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: Ok so they are celebrities, but they live their life to make a difference in this world. Their stories are interesting because of the stories they can share about those they help on a regular basis. I don`t care about what kind of toothpaste they used or if they are getting married. I do care about why they make the choice to help others, what drives them to make the decisions they make.

Lt. General Romeo Dallaire: Former UN leader to Rwanda, author of two books about his experiences in Rwanda, and Senator of Canada. He choose to be a witness to one of the most horrific events of modern times. His courage to inform the world about the war crimes he saw and how the international community did nothing to stop it is an example of a hero. His first book, Shake Hands with the Devil, was made into a movie starring Canadian actor Roy Dupuis.

Bobby Sager and Family: This amazing family left behind a life of luxury in the pursuit of helping others. As a family they gave up their wealth centered life to invest in those that want to help themselves build a better life. The short lived TV series, the Philanthropist, was loosely based on his life. The stories he must still have to tell about how and why he helps helps others. He has met with leaders of compassion such as Mother Teresa and the Dali Lama.

Bono: I don`t want to talk about music or his fame but about how his fight for Africa. He has convinced many influential and rich people to give their wealth to charity. I want to know what drives him and his stories about what motivated him to focus on the needs of the African nations.

Survivors of Conflict: I have met a Sudanese lost boy, a Serbian refugee, and people who lived behind the former Iron Curtain. I have heard missionaries share their stories, struggles, and need. These people are amazing and there is so much to learn from their stories about how to succeed in life.

Hilary Clinton: A strong woman who is truly amazing.

Canada`s Justice System is too Expensive and Needs to Be Revamped

I`m tired of hearing how much is being spent on trying criminals and knowing that our society is only getting more violent.  Robert Pikton`s trial cost over $100 million and the BC Rail trial is at over $17 million.   Our tax dollars are wasted everyday with continuances and appeals with the result in most cases being a slap on the wrist or an acquittal.  Has the pendulum swung too far to the left? 

Our justice system is based on precedents and interpretations of laws by judges.  It has taken on a life of its own where the rights of the accused are valued more then the rights of the victims or public safety.  The hands of the police force are so tied that it makes their jobs to keep the public safe harder and harder every day. 

What Canada`s justice system needs is some accountablity.  Judges need to be accountable to the public they are suppose to protect.  Laws need to be written with consquences that are harsh and will deter criminals or ensure they will be seperated from the public better.  However, can it be done?  Is there anyway for our society to call for stiffer penalities? 

International Centre for Criminal Law Reform

Criminal Justice Reform BC Government

Pre Teen Decisions and the Effects of Violent Video Games like Call of Duty

My son came home from a friends house and proceeded to ask permission to buy Call of Duty Black Ops.  I knew that this day was coming... when he was playing or watching something at a friends house that I didn't approve of.  I wasn't shocked that he'd played the game at some of his friend's houses, but I was surprised to find out that it was a particular friend.  I know his mom and consider her more over protective then I am, so why did her 11 year old own this particular game?  Was I being overly sensitive to media reports, is this game harmless or should I continue to ensure that these types of violent video games stay out of our house?

I value knowledge and having facts to back my opinions so I started to do the research online.  It wasn't enough for just me to come up with an argument - it was up to my son to convince me that the game was harmless for 11 year old boys.  We both hit the Internet to find information to back up our arguments. 

The result of our little exercise was a mutual agreement that maybe now wasn't the best time for him to own such a violent game.  Owning the game would mean he would be playing it too much and with the storyline mode, which is the worse mode.  He agreed that he got too focused when playing video games alone had a hard time limited the amount of time he played.  Ok so it took me asking leading questions for him to come up with that conclusion, but at least he did.

As for playing the game at a friend's house,  I'm not stupid I know he will play the game when at his friend's house.  I told him that I knew he would do things I didn't agree with, like drink alcohol underage, but I wasn't about to make it easy for him or condone it by allowing it in our home.  I also think that playing with friend's in multiple player mode not only limited the amount of time he played the game but also eliminated the storyline mode, which is the goriest mode.  Playing with others also kept him from getting hyper focused on the game when he played, which is the biggest issue with violent games - hyper focus results in blurring reality and fantasy. 

As for his friend that owns the game, I called his mom to find out why she had agreed to allow the game in their home, she didn't know what she was buying.  She was going with the Christmas list and her husband's recommendation to buy it.  Now that he has it she feels she can't just take it back.  She'd rather it wasn't there but what is done is done.  Her son's time on video games is limited due to his extra curricular activities and he only plays with friends. 

I wish that my son wouldn't have access to violent video games, but its not a perfect world and other families have a different value system.  I can't protect him from everything, I can only hope that he makes better decisions.  He has to develop his own belief system and information as a tool to help him make decisions.  I wish I could say that he was strong enough not to be effected by peer pressure but he's not.  As kid's get older our control over them is diminished and we know less about what decisions they face every day.  It's not good enough to give them rules to follow, they have to understand the reasons behind the rules and buy into the argument.  Once they drink the Kool Aid, they will hopefully make better decisions. 

Violent Video Game Atrraction and Effects

Impact of Violent Video Games on Kids

Video game management for pre teens

Video games and Children's Health

Mental Health and Video Games

Scientific Studies of the Effects


Related Posts with Thumbnails