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Last Friday, I found out about the “new” abortion caravan organized by a group called the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) traveling the country from Vancouver to Ottawa to push for the re-criminalization of abortion in Canada. I heard about this because I found out it will be stopping in London tomorrow (Monday June 25).

Since learning this, I started to read about the original abortion caravan that also traveled from Vancouver to Ottawa in 1970, pressing for the legalization of abortion in our country. This caravan was started by a group called the Vancouver Women’s Caucus (VWC), and traveled across the country making many stops as they went, holding public meetings and listening to concerns they would aim to address in Ottawa.

The travels of the caravan culminated in the group’s arrival in Ottawa, where several protests were held. These protests weren’t without controversy, as the group carried a black coffin on Parliament Hill, and burned an effigy of then-PM Pierre Trudeau outside of 24 Sussex Drive. “The coffin represented pregnant women who’d died from back-alley procedures or their own horrific attempts with knitting needles or coat hangers” (as told in this story).

Most dramatically, on May 11, 1970 about 3 dozen women took seats in the galleries circling the House of Commons, and quietly chained themselves to their seats. Once ready, they began to read a speech the group had prepared. One article tells it this way:

Just before 3 p.m., one of the women stood up and started giving the group’s speech. As the guards closed in on her, another stood up in another gallery and continued. One guard told The Globe and Mail’s Clyde Sanger that the women were “popping up all over the place.” They shut down the House of Commons, and the Vancouver Sun reported it was the first adjournment provoked by a gallery disturbance in its 103-year history.

The caravan was also Canada’s first national feminist protest. It laid the path for the decriminalization of abortion in Canada in 1988, and marks an important part of Canadian history.

The new caravan aims to parody the original caravan, hijacking its associations and creating new ones. It too is doing a series of speaking engagements across the country, but the vehicles they’re using feature disturbing images of aborted fetuses (as does their website). The CCBR argue that the images force people to think about the issue and sparks conversation, while opponents to the caravan argue the images are being used irresponsibly to evoke emotion and stop people from thinking about the issue sensibly.

Tomorrow evening the new abortion caravan will be in London, at 254 Adelaide St S., London Youth for Christ. A group of activists that feel strongly about a woman’s right to safe abortion will be there to form a counter-protest, as has been happening across the country at every stop the CCBR has made.

Many people are getting involved. Among those that will be there to speak are Irene Mathyssen, NDP MP for London-Fanshawe and Megan Walker, the Executive Director of London Abused Women’s Centre. For more information, the Facebook page for the event is here.

This is a deeply complex and emotional issue. There is a time and a place for open dialogue and debate, but I believe it is irresponsible to use such traumatizing imagery, especially on vehicles where all members of the public will see it whether they wish to or not. As well, for my part, I believe in a woman’s fundamental right to have the option of safe abortion medically available to them.

For these reasons, I will be there to observe and take part in the counter-protest. I ask anyone who feels strongly about this issue and is able to be there to please come.

Today was the next step in the ReThink process, the “Your Vision, Your Future” event. This is the next phase of the process, following the June 11 Discover Your City night (my article for Metro News London on it can be read here.)

There were two sessions for everyone’s convenience, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. It branched from the introduction to the City citizens were given June 11, and quickly caught up everyone that wasn’t able to be at the event.

I came to the afternoon event, and met with many people I’ve seen at these and similar events, as well as a great many that were new to me. There seemed to be a diversity of ideas and perspectives, though common themes came up often.

The event was hosted at the Convention Centre with several small round tables. After an introduction by several City staff, each table was asked to come up with general ideas/visions for our city’s future. After each table shared 1 or 2 visionary ideas they had put together, people were asked to join a “pod” of 3-4 tables discussing clear objectives for one of the 5 major themes of ReThink (Live. Grow. Green. Move. Prosper.).

From there, each table was asked to build up to 5 clear objectives over half an hour, before moving to another theme and building on what the first table had done. In the end, the sheets were put up for everyone to examine, and each person was given 3 sticky dots to place on their favourite ideas from each of the themes. These sheets will be looked over by the city staff involved in the ReThink process to determine what Londoners are most interested in seeing happen, which they’ll come back to citizens with in a future session.

After the event, I asked the Twitter community what the ReThink process means to them. A few of the responses I received were:

Dean Sheppard (@DeanShpprd): “citizen chance to tell the politicians how to run *our* city. It’s *ours* not * theirs*”. “Staff can make great policies but in end votes on Council make the decisions”.

Anne Arnott @AArnott22: “What I enjoyed the most about #rethinkldn today is the people, the Londoners that ask questions, spark creativity and engage for the better.”

Stephen Turner (@st3v3turn3r): “was very impressed how similar people’s visions were for #ldnont. #rethinkldn 4 me is boiling the plan down to reflect that.”

As well, the event organizers have put together what they call “workshops in a box” for those interested, which allows citizens to create their own ReThink events with their friends/family/coworkers etc. to get them to share their thoughts and visions for our city’s future. Anne-Marie Sánchez (@anma_sa) had this to say:

 I thought it was a great event and everyone felt energized afterward. It’s critical to get buy-in from citizens and this is a great first-step. I was especially hopeful with the concept of “workshops in a box”. I think it’s a great idea to leverage those enthused by the process to bring it back to their circles (eg neighborhoods, family, friends) and get as much feedback as possible. So many citizens have competing priorities that we can’t expect for everyone to come to the City to give feedback, the City needs to go to them in as many creative ways as possible.

It is so important for as many people as possible to get involved. Today many ideas came forward with a large group giving input and sharing which ideas they think should have highest priority, but it isn’t up to just the people there to have their say.

Everyone in the city have a voice and a part to play. My hope is that even more people will come into the process, share their perspectives, support the ideas they think have merit, discuss and constructively criticize the ones they think don’t, and bring their own to the table.

We also have a shared responsibility to make sure it happens. At the end of the process, as Dean said, staff will bring citizen ideas forward to Council who will have the final approval. It is up to us to ensure that citizens’ views are properly represented and respected when that time comes.

The process is ongoing, and works to be accessible to everyone interested no matter what point they come into the process. If you’d like to learn more, make sure to check out their website (including videos of the talks given on the June 11 introducing Londoners to everything the City does), share your ideas, and keep an eye out for future events! Everyone is encouraged to participate, share the ideas with fellow citizens and the City as they work to put together everyone’s ideas and build objectives for our city to achieve.

I’m excited by this process and will continue to participate as it moves forward. We’re all in this together London; make sure to have your say!

As I wrote about in my previous post, “Why Bill C-13 Matters”, there has been a great deal of controversy in Ontario surrounding the Liberal government’s bill that would add new anti-bullying practices to Ontario public schools. The controversy has been specifically over Section 303.1, which states that every board will support pupils who want to start student organizations for people that are bullied, making specific mention of sexual orientation and organizations known as gay-straight alliances.

The Catholic School Board and members of the Ontatio Progressive Conservatives (PC) balked at this, with the Catholic School Board stating that this approach forces the Board schools to accept something they believe is against Catholic doctrine. They asked the government to remove any mention of gay-straight alliances, and a PC MPP, Lisa MacLeod, tabled Bill C-14, which proposes similar measures to C-13 without making any mention to sexual orientation.

The controversy grew as the Ontario NDP asked for amendments, including the following amendment to 303.1:

(2) For greater certainty, neither the board nor the principal shall refuse to allow a pupil to use the name gay-straight alliance or a similar name for an organization described in clause

Bill C-13 passed the provincial legislation last week, to a great deal of both applause and frustration. The goal is to have this new legislation in effect in provincial schools by the start of next September’s fall semester.

Part of the issue is that the Catholic School Board favours a top-down approach to teaching, and believes (along with parents) that this bill restrict the parent/teacher/principal role (despite their role being recognized in the legislation). According to a 15-page document released by Board trustees, Catholic clubs are encouraged to have teacher moderators and to designate principals to approve the group’s name and activities. It includes these words:

Student Activities or Organizations are not intended as (a forum) for activism, protest or advocacy of anything that is not in accord with the Catholic faith foundation of the school

At this time the Catholic School Board has signaled that it will not sue the government over this action, but there was a great deal of speculation about legal action before the bill passed, and it seems that it may happen in future, sinking public money into what could become a protracted legal battle.

As well, it seems doubtful the Catholic School Board will respect the new rules. Fred Collie, the Bishop of the Thunder Bay Diocese, made these comments to the Kenora Daily Miner:

Everything we do in our schools, every part of our curriculum, always has a Catholic component to it…We’re going say the Catholic church is not going to endorse or support homosexual lifestyles because we don’t see it as a proper lifestyle or a morally good lifestyle for people.

It begs the question: why does the province of Ontario still support a separate religious school as part of the public system?

The Catholic School Board is a public entity supported by public money, yet takes its utimate leadership from the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican, not the province of Ontario. This means that a branch of the Ontario public school system, with a Vatican-led stance on homosexuality, is in breach of the Canadian Constitution, which guarantees that every Canadian is free from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It’s also worth noting that in 1999 the United Nations Human Rights Committee condemned Canada and the province of Ontario for violating equality provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and and Political Rights. In this 2005 report, the Committee restated its concerns and observed that Canada continued to fail to “adopt steps in order to eliminate discrimination on the basis of religion in the funding of schools in Ontario.”

This issue, however, is much broader than that. I don’t believe that a single ideology or belief system should be taught at a public school as the “correct” one, to the exclusion of all others, regardless what that belief is. If parents want their children to be educated from a particular perspective they have every right to do so, but I don’t believe that this type of exclusive education should occur in the public school system. This is why I advocate for a single public school board for our province, without religious affiliation.

There are a variety of reasons to do this:

One of the arguments for continuing the Catholic School Board is that it provides an alternative to parents who don’t want to send their children to a private school yet want their children to receive a religious upbringing. I don’t believe it is fair for one religious perspective (Roman Catholic) to be supported on public money to the exclusion of all others. Ontario has many different belief perspectives/traditions, and though Roman Catholic is the largest denomination in Ontario (with 34% of Ontario identifying themselves as RC in 2001), it shouldn’t have special standing above all others (the beliefs of the other 66% of Ontario). For education equality, we should have one board.

However, I don’t believe this should mean that the entire Ontario public system teaches only secular ideas. I believe all religious perspectives could and should be available to students who want to study them. The Catholic School Board states that they are a “vital component of the province’s publicly funded education system” and the diversity it brings is part of what makes our system so successful.

I believe the opposite. I am proud of our public school system, but believe it could be so much better.

I believe that this merger would lead to a stronger system by creating a more unified, inclusive education structure and provide a more varied education to all Ontario students. By merging school boards and thereby students, teachers, buildings etc., all public school students would have more resources at their disposal. Instead of positioning our students in secular vs. religious schools, they would meet students with more varied perspectives and make more topics available for study.

Ontario Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner, puts it this way:

We need to merge the best of the Catholic and public system into one publicly funded education system, French and English.

I also believe that this merger should happen for financial reasons, and should be an easy sell particularly to the Ontario PC in this regard as it would help lower the province’s deficit. Although this issue was avoided by the Drummond Report, it would help the public school system operate much more efficiently. I find it completely unacceptable that the province operates separate sets of schools with their own boards regardless of inefficiencies, especially considering the financial state that the province is in. A move to merge the public and Catholic school boards (starting with the management of the boards, and moving downwards to give the school systems time to adjust to the changes) would be a practical, achievable step in lowering the public cost of education in the province.

Mike Schreiner says it so well:

The public wants to have a conversation about whether it’s appropriate that we fund one religious school to the exclusion of all others. That’s an equity issue. It’s a fairness issue. It’s a fiscal responsibility issue. And, at the end of the day, it’s a quality-of-education issue.

I’ve been following the news of Ontario’s Bill C-13, the Accepting Schools Act, with interest as the story has unfolded. This week, the legislation passed 65-36, with Liberal and NDP members voting for it, and all PC members voting against (as told here). It has become a very emotional issue, surrounding this portion of the legislation:

303.1 Every board shall support pupils who want to establish and lead,(a) activities or organizations that promote gender equity;(b) activities or organizations that promote anti-racism;(c) activities or organizations that promote the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people with disabilities; or(d) activities or organizations that promote the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including organizations with the name gay-straight alliance or another name.

Perspectives towards this legislation have been varied, to say the least.

A sample of the support for the legislation has been posted on this government website. Among those speaking in support of the legislation are Nancy Kirby, President of Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, Catherine Fife, President of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Gordon Floyd, President and CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, and Kevin O’Dwyer, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association.

There are many detractors as well.

One prominent group has been members of Ontario Catholic School Boards. Many have pushed heavily for a generic name for student groups, not using the words “Gay-Straight Alliance”. They have accused the Liberals of being needlessly polarizing and forcing the schools to go against Catholic Church teachings, as shown here. Another example of religious complaints against the legislation is available in this release by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

Another group vocally against the legislation is Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party. Randy Hillier, PC, MPP for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, shares his thoughts on the legislation here.

There are deep convictions on both sides of the issue. These are my thoughts on the legislation, and why it is important.

One of the arguments against this legislation is that it is up to parents to change their children, not the government. It is true parents need to step in and teach their children respect, respect for everything they think they need to bully another person for, including physical size, sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation. The legislation does mention that this is an important component:

Acknowledge that an open and ongoing dialogue among the principal, school staff, parents and students is an important component in creating a positive school climate in which everyone feels safe and respected.

But what do we do when a parent refuses/is unable to do so, and the schoolmates suffer? Schools already have methods to deal with bullying, but it still is very persistent (with current estimates of 1/3 of entire student population bullied), and students have committed suicide because they can see no other way out of their torment.

Specifically, what is done for children that are victims of bullying because of their sexual orientation? Several people I grew up with are gay, but tried to mask that they were to avoid bullying while in school, and only came out after leaving Wiarton. No one should have to lie to themselves and others about who they are for fear of bullying.

Also, what if their parents are the bullies? Many homosexual people can’t even turn to their own family for support.

The creation of safe spaces for students, specifically Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), is commendable. No school board or principal should be allowed to stop such a positive group from forming when students in their school want to create one. Post-secondary schools are already forming these (or similar) groups, to create safe spaces for people who are adults. I think it is that much more important that these groups are available to students that may have no other place to turn.

Comments by people like MPP Hilliers that this legislation is a waste of time overlooks the fact that at least one PC member believes that a similar legislation should be passed. PC MPP Lisa MacLeod (Nepean-Carleton) tabled Bill C-14, the Anti-Bullying Act (also known as the counter-Bill C-13) that is very similar to the one presented by the Liberals, except that it didn’t make reference to sexual orientation at all. I believe that the PCs believe in the importance of this legislation by the government, but without wanting to offend the Catholic School Board or their conservative base.

It has also been argued that these new clubs would be exclusive instead of inclusive. This argument ignores the nature of groups like gay-straight alliances, which encourages all people to participate in a respectful manner. I wish that these groups had existed when I grew up. I understand that they will not be a quick fix to deep-rooted bullying issues, but I feel that it is a positive step in bringing people of all sexual orientations together for discussion, with the goal of moving towards understanding and acceptance.

I am particularly troubled by the religious arguments against supporting this legislation. My understanding is that Christianity should accept any movement to protect persecuted and abused people, most especially vulnerable people such as children, and should not be leading the charge against that action. The fact that students in Ontario today can go to a public school that is dictated by the Vatican belief that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” that are “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law” demonstrates why this legislation is so important. It also begs the question of why Ontario still has a publically funded Catholic School Board.

I was bullied throughout my childhood, for being small for my age, for being artistic, and for enjoying reading. There were days I dreaded going to school, and felt trapped because I knew that if I turned to my parents or teachers for help, my life might only become worse by drawing further attention. Everyone is different, and anything that can be done to break down stereotypes and prejudice should be encouraged. That is why I think Bill C-13 matters.

Two years ago, the Harper Government scrapped the mandatory long form census. Shortly after, the then-head of Statistics Canada, Munir Sheikh, resigned in protest.

This leaves us as the only first-world country without a reliable census of our population. Unfortunately this is only one strand in a much larger narrative, as the Harper Government reduces and/or removes sources of information and protection. This is marked most recently by Bill-38, the 425-page budget omnibus bill (and the online protests happening today against it).

Why should we care?

One reason: there are many different professional groups that depend on reliable long-form census data.

My undergrad thesis, “Estimating Population: A Case Study of Accessibility to Outdoor Pools in London, Ontario, Canada”, relied entirely on Statistics Canada. The data was at the dissemination area level, broken down into neighbourhood-sized blocks, the smallest level Statistics Canada data is broken down into, to protect privacy. I studied the theory behind how we understand population and how people move in their environment, developing a new method of doing so in the process. I performed my research by studying how accessible London public pools are to young people but with application to other amenities like schools, grocery stores etc. The research goal was to develop a better understanding of our populations and plan for them.

The Harper Government has demonstrated it doesn’t have time for anything that doesn’t confirm their beliefs. As Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird explains, fact should suit government opinion:

Why should taxpayers have to pay for more than 10 reports promoting a carbon tax, something that the people of Canada have repeatedly rejected? That is a message the Liberal Party just will not accept. It should agree with Canadians. It should agree with the government. No discussion of a carbon tax that would kill and hurt Canadian families. [Emphasis mine]

But in striking down the mandatory long-form census, the government went even further. Instead of disregarding unbiased research and suggesting government-funded work should twist fact to suit opinion, Statistics Canada should no longer be in the business of gathering reliable data on the Canadian population at all. This would eliminate the possibility of further credible Canadian social studies entirely.

Those in support of the change made it a case of personal liberty (although there are only a handful of complaints each time the census is distributed, and no one has been prosecuted for refusing to complete the census). They are assured that it is only “elitist” hand-wringing, whose precious data will be perfectly fine.

In fact, those in support of eliminating the mandatory census point out that the number of people that fill it out may very well go up as more people have the opportunity to opt-in, completely ignoring how skew is produced in data. Without a truly random sample of the population, the data becomes worthless as it cannot be verified that it produces a fair representation of the Canadian population. As people groups (be it by income level, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.) become over- or under-represented, the data no longer presents an accurate picture, and makes the work of professionals like planners that much more difficult.

I’ve been frustrated by this since it happened, but have left it alone since the initial outrage. Until this Sun article, published this weekend, “Census cry was all elitist paranoia”, re-opened the wound.

The article describes how the government is still receiving a rough image of the country via Statistics Canada data (a lot of the information cited is available from the mandatory short-form census that every household fills out), and says therefore there was never a problem, just a lot of elites complaining.

First of all, what is an “elite”? There isn’t further mention in the article except stating that the concern over the value of future census data is just “elitist paranoia”, and as an irregular reader of Sun media I can only gather it means professionals, i.e. eggheads.

I guess I fit into that mold. As a student of planning and statistics, I am deeply concerned about research of the kind I performed in school, the kind my professors continue to do. I’m concerned about the work of every type of professional that relies on this data (planners, statisticians, social services etc.), who will no longer be able to say without doubt that the data they rely on isn’t corrupted, casting the value of their work into question. The article states that:

Editorialists opined that the government’s assault on the purity of the census would undermine public policy formation and “hamper Ottawa’s ability to solve social problems.”

Those editorialists would be right, though this ignores the larger (or perhaps smaller) picture. Ottawa relies on this data, but likely the provinces and municipalities far more so. The work our cities and provinces do at the micro scale to understand the people they work to serve rely heavily on the kind of data now rendered highly questionable, at best.

This attitude is unfortunately similar to the one repeatedly shown of late in London’s City Hall as city staff recommendations have been ignored by Council; despite stacks of evidence Council is pushing through decisions against the public interest. I’ve unfortunately been reminded more than once by those who think that they know better (present and past members of Council) that we elected our Council to do the thinking and to rely too heavily on the opinion of the unelected experts would be devastatingly undemocratic.

As an “elite”, I am offended both by the author arrogantly stating this is a non-issue without doing any kind of analysis of how the data is/isn’t compromised (“we’re still getting data, therefore everything is fine” is not a valid argument), and by the lack of respect for those that do the analysis. Planners use this data to understand the people they work to plan for and to serve them most effectively and efficiently. When knee-jerk, uninformed decisions like this happen, it only makes their jobs much more difficult.

As written in my previous post, water conservation advocate Maude Barlow spoke at London’s Aeolian Hall Wednesday night, joined by two local water, habitat and ecosystem conservation advocates. I was glad to be there for the talks, as well as the great performance that kicked off the event.

There was an enjoyable surprise start to the evening in the form of a performance by the El Sistema Aeolian, and a brief introduction to the program. The introduction included a video briefly explaining the El Sistema project’s beginnings in Venezuela, available to watch here. I was delighted by the skill of the young performers, and was interested to learn more about them, having seen the group open a City Council meeting a couple months ago. The main source of their talent is the neighbourhood surrounding the Aeolian, specifically students from Lorne Ave. Public School. The program began in London November 2011 and is already flourishing, I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and spread.

After the performance, a traditional native elder of the London region’s Chippewas of the Thames performed a traditional ceremony celebrating the natural world, and specifically the water we all depend on for survival.

Thom McClenaghan, the President of the conservation group Friends of the Coves Subwatershed then started the night’s talks. He spoke about their group as well as work happening throughout London to protect, preserve and educate about the Coves and the other subwatersheds in the city. He explained how subwatersheds such as the Coves connect to larger watersheds like the Thames River, which eventually drain into large bodies of water, in our case, the Great Lakes. This message tied in well with the other two presentations.

Patrick Donnelly, Urban Watershed Program Manager City of London spoke next. His talk echoed Thom’s message about connectivity, and also discussed London’s deep connection with the Great Lakes. As we became very aware of last week, London draws its municipal water both from Lake Erie and Lake Huron, a very unique water collection method, and one that kept the city receiving at least some new water to bolster reserves while the Lake Huron pipe was unusable. He outlines how people in every watershed depend on those upstream of them to preserve the quality of the water for those below them, and how the water ultimately returns to the sources we draw from, reminding us that we must be very careful of what we dump in our streams and rivers, as well as directly into the Great Lakes. He also outlined some of the ways the city is working to take care of our section of the Thames, including working with and encouraging neighbourhood projects to adopt and protect watercourses such as the Friends of the Coves.

This talk led well into Maude Barlow’s message. She spoke passionately about the Canadian, North American and global importance of the Great Lakes, as the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth making up 21% of the planet’s surface fresh water. She talked of how there are many trade and protection agreements between Canada and the U.S. outlining the protection of the Great Lakes, but voiced concerns that as American water sources such as the California Coastal Basin aquifer is depleted and threatens U.S. food security, fresh water such as the Lakes may become too tempting as the next major water source to adequately protect it.

Her message was a strong reminder of just how amazing the Lakes are, and how fortunate we are to have them to enjoy. She spoke about different perspectives/philosophies about water resources such as the Great Lakes (and the global environment in general), ranging from preservation/conservation-led beliefs that see resources both as a gift and a responsibility to be protected for future generations, and much more human-centric views that see the natural environment as available firstly for our use and as an economy driver. She said that it doesn’t have to be a case of the economy vs. the environment, but encourages all citizens and businesses to strive for creative methods to both boost our economy and preserve our natural world for future generations.

As Maude noted, this talk came at a very relevant time for our city, as we were under an outdoor water ban last week, and this article was published yesterday. It states “With a meager 21 millimetres of precipitation falling in May, it was the second driest May since the record was set for London in May 1954 at 13.8 millimetres, according to Environment Canada.”. As well, May was another month in what has been an exceptionally dry spring, with the Upper Thames Conservation Authority issuing alerts that the low precipitation levels is causing low river levels which in turn may harm water and habitat quality (though we were fortunate today to get a great deal of much-needed rain, which will hopefully reduce the impact of the spring drought).

I was glad to have been present for the talk, but was left somewhat at a loss. We can each work to lower our water consumption, but there seems to be many elements entirely out of our control or influence. As well, Maude Barlow and the Council of Canadians are a polarizing group in Canadian advocacy/politics, and one of a diverse group of voices on the subject. I hope to continue thinking and learning about the subject of water conservation, and writing about it periodically here.

I was struck by her message, but it is something she said after that has really stuck with me. As she met with the audience, she said “We only have one chance here, so should make the very most of this time”.

As we try to balance the various elements of our lives and attempt to live out our beliefs even as they continue to be shaped, we can easily be bogged down. This message is a fresh reminder that we have only one chance in this world, we should continue to work and do all we can, while we can.