Author Archives: Angela

No Ordinary Human

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

A very great woman said this. How right she was. And this statement seems especially true today. When I deciding what to write, I thought of what I would say are the two biggest issues in the news. Russia-Ukraine and Flight MH 17. Israel-Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But how do these wars relate to pro-life activism?

Other disasters are coming to mind. The disappearance of Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents in Calgary, Alberta. The shooting of a priest in Phoenix, Arizona. The Boston bombing last summer. Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut.

The killing of unprotected children.

They are all disasters that stem from the fact that life is no longer given its due. Life has lost its value. Russian separatists shoot down a plane. Alright, it is a mistake. They think it is a military plane. Wait, what? So because of a mistake, 298 people die. Families and friends are left mourning.

What are we coming to? Man no longer seems to care that the other person is a person, who has the same rights and potential as himself. Who gave any one person the right to decide if someone else gets to live or die? Yet there are hundreds of people running around thinking they have that right.

Let’s get back to that quote. “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

We belong to each other.

This goes back to my first post, when I said that looking out for others is part of our nature. We are each other’s responsibility. When we realize that the person next to us, friend or stranger, is our responsibility—that we are responsible for their well-being—then we begin to pay more attention to them. And we have to pay attention to them. We have to see that they are just as important as we ourselves are.

Sometimes this process has to start by looking at yourself. Without being egotistic or arrogant, you have to see just how wonderful you are. Could you have created you? Didn’t think so. Way beyond your capability, or mine. I couldn’t have created me, that’s for sure. So stop and think. If I can’t create me, if I can’t create you, if human life is way beyond my comprehension, doesn’t that make humanity rather…incredible? It’s beyond our scope. And humans will never be able to understand humans. Think of the complexities of the nervous system. The muscles. Blood. The heart. The brain! Wow. Mind boggling!

How are you moving your finger right now? Alright, you told it to. But does your finger have its own brain that makes it capable of motion? No. So your brain is telling it to move, and it moves before it even becomes a conscious thought in your own awareness.

Now that we’ve established our own personal wonderfulness, think of the person beside you. You know how you work, how you think, what you like, etc. Now the person beside you is just as intricate as you, but is a completely different person. They have the same mind-boggling biology, but they have their own thoughts, actions, likes, isms. And every person is different. Kind of like snowflakes. As a certain Doctor says, “There’s no such thing as an ordinary human.”

So, we’ve established that people are complex. In more ways than one. And they’re all completely different from each other. They’re all way beyond what we can even imagine. We can’t even imagine how deep our own person is.

And mankind wants to destroy these intricate creations?

Think of the amazing work that computers do. Think of what multiple computers working together could do. Think of what supercomputers with the power of hundreds of computers could do. How much more can humans accomplish, even by simply being alive! The human brain is so much more complex than a computer. But hundreds of these powerful little organs are being destroyed, constantly.

You don’t have to do anything to be amazing. The simple fact of your existence is amazing. To be is to be amazing. We have to recognize this fact in our neighbour. Remember what that astounding woman from Calcutta said: “We have forgotten that we belong to each other.” The brilliant creation that is sitting next to us is our responsibility. Now that’s what I call a big responsibility.

Yolo!

Yolo!

I only became aware with this phrase this past year. I never thought much of it; just another thing that has somehow became a fad among today’s youth. Then when I was thinking about what to write for this post, the word came to mind.

You only live once. Said in situations when your friends are trying to convince you to do something.

Huh? Why bother? Why should they (or we—maybe we’re the ones “yolo-ing”) care whether or not someone else does or doesn’t do something?

Looking out for others, believe it or not, is part of our nature. We intrinsically desire others (people around us, family, friends, even complete strangers) to live life in a good way. When we say “Yolo!”, we’re telling our friends to live life to its fullest.

Let me try to explain what I mean.

You’re standing at the edge of a 30 foot cliff. There’s water at the bottom, cool and deep and deliciously refreshing for the 30 degree weather you’re sweltering in. You really wanna jump in, but you also really don’t. Maybe you’re scared of heights, or maybe you don’t like falling through the air. Whatever it is, something is holding you back from taking the jump. Beside you, a friend suddenly says invitingly “Yolo!” and jumps in. Next thing you know, you’re flying down through the air towards the water. Trees are soaring through your vision and you feel the absolutely exhilarating—but frightening—freedom of nothing solid beneath your feet. You hit the pool and satisfyingly sink three feet down, water swirling up past you in little bubbles. When you come up and take a deep breath of the warm flower-scented summer day, you know it was worth it. You jumped (literally) at the chance to something thrilling. You’re enjoying your life.

You find yourself yolo-ing the next person at the top of the cliff before you jump in again. You have realized that life is exciting. You’re full of joy—you’re living life to its fullest! And you want to make others realize just how stimulating life is when lived in this way.

So, why wait? Go tell everyone else to jump in, too!

Have you ever noticed that it’s the little things that really make us happy? Those very, very little everyday things that make us feel good to be alive. Things like listening to good music while taking a road trip on a sunny day with a Timmie’s in your hand. Things like curling up with a hot mug of tea or hot chocolate on a rainy day with a good book. Things like sitting by the fire on a cold winter’s day. Things like walking under the fiery trees in the fall with a good friend. Doing school on your bed and listening to your favourite radio station. Having a good conversation with a friend. And every now and then something a little more daring like jumping off a cliff.

We need to enjoy life. We can’t just sit by and forget how to enjoy simple pleasures.

But life goes even further. Remember how I said it’s part of human nature to look out for others? We want to say “Yolo”. We want others to enjoy life, too. Which means we want people to have a chance to enjoy life.

You’re back at the top of the cliff. But this time it’s a different cliff. There’s still a drop below you, but you can’t see much about it. You don’t even know how far down it goes. It’s dark and murky—there’s a faint mist swirling around your eyes that makes it even more difficult to see. From the bottom you can hear a sound. You realize it’s a whimper. You feel the need to go down and help whoever’s down there. But it’s scary, man. Really. Scary.

But you remember your jump from the other cliff. You remember the exhilaration you felt while you were jumping. This is a different jump, a different cliff, but you somehow realize that your first jump won’t mean as much if you don’t make this jump. And there’s someone down there, waiting for the chance to enjoy life as much as you do. Can you leave?

YOLO!

Take the plunge! Dive in! Sure it’s scary, but, man, is it worth it!

Part of living life to its fullest is encouraging others to do the same. If you don’t, you’re hogging life and stealing joy. What if someone had decided to not give you the little encouragement you need to have joy? What if someone hadn’t shared their chocolate cake with you? You’d probably be hurt, and feeling left out. And honestly, at least some of the time, homeschoolers have to deal with feeling left out. Think of the time the schooler looked at you funny because you were different and excluded you from the conversation. What if they had just smiled and beckoned you in?

So don’t let anyone feel left out. Life is a joy! Share your joy! Share your life!

And who really needs your joy?

That’s right.

Expectant mothers. And their children.

So many children are denied the chance to feel joy. So you—we—need to give them that chance. Remember that I said part of living life to its fullest is encouraging others to do the same?

The more you share, the more you have. I know, clichéd. But true.

So go on. Help those little babies and their mothers to have joy, to live!

Yolo! Now’s your chance!