Category Archives: Inspiration and Reflections

Member Spotlight – Amelia

***We’ve had a bit of a lag in starting our school year activism, we know. But I assure you that everything will begin again in October. To prepare yourself for a school year of pro-life leadership, read this member spotlight post by Amelia and get inspired! (And check out Amelia’s video on our project pro-life page!)

Hi!  I’m Amelia Willis.  I’m a grade 11 student, and I’ve been homeschooled all my life.  I guess my being pro-life all started by going to Life Chain Sunday, and then to the March in Ottawa.  I always looked forward to Life Chain Sunday, and was always excited to hold the sign.  The pro-life march in Ottawa was a completely different experience, and I loved it!  I think the biggest thing for me, was seeing how many thousands of people were there, and all for the same reason!  Just recently, I made a pro-life video.

I’d really like to get more involved in the pro-life movement, so I think Homeschool Pro-Life Action Network is an amazing thing, because, it can be difficult to be involved, being a homeschooler!  Great job Alexandra and Sarah!

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!

Member Spotlight- Tabatha

I am a grade 8 homeschooled student and although I haven’t entered high school yet, I’ve found that even while being homeschooled, there have been tons of opportunities to do pro-life activism. During the years that I’ve been homeschooled, I’ve written letters, got my youth group involved with writing letters for Letters4Life, took part in 40 Days for Life, and been involved with Right-to-Life. Being brought up in pro-life family has helped me to do more for the pro-life movement.

In September I will be going into high school. Some grade 9’s 10’s and 11’s where talking to a group of grade 8’s (I was in that group) and they where telling us how it’s so great to get involved with the clubs in high school.

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At the Youth Conference with Stephanie Gray, President of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform

They said “people who have come to this high school have been happier leaving knowing that they got involved with what they loved.” and that “it makes the year go by so much faster when you get involved and join a club.” One of the grade 9’s asked me what I was interested in. At the moment I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. ‘Maybe competitive speech,’ I thought to myself but never said out loud.

Two weeks after that day I found myself in Ottawa for the March for Life. Seeing 23,000 pro-lifers crowd the street was breath-taking. During the three days we stayed in Ottawa, we heard so many great people taking about why and how they got involved in the pro-life movement. When I came back I knew what I wanted to do in high school. I asked my older sister who is in grade 10 if there was a pro-life club in her high school. I was kind of  hoping she would say “no” so I could take charge of it (hee hee). When she responded “no.” I was really happy (and a bit surprised).

A week and three days earlier at the high school, the grade 9, 10, and 11’s said it was so great to “get involved and join a club” but they never said “….to start a club.”

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On Parliament Hill at the March for Life Rally

I am guessing you know what I want to do in high school. I don’t know how long it has been since a grade 9 on the second day of school has gone in to the guidance counselors office and said “I want to start a pro-life club.” (my counselor will probably be in shock). I realized that since I want to go into competitive speech, I could use my love for speaking to an audience to share the pro-life message in my high school. The speech workshops I took while I was homeschooled helped me build my confidence in speaking to people.

I’ve sometimes found it hard to reach out to people while being homeschooled, so I was super excited when my friends told me about Homeschool P.L.A.N…the first homeschooling pro-life club I have heard of, actually.

The motto in my soon-to-be high school, “et aliis et non sibi,” translates in English to “For others not oneself.” In high school we are living by the motto of putting others first before our selves. In that case, in the next four years of my school life and even after that I should be doing all I can to stand up for the unborn. And putting them first before myself.

Member Spotlight – Angela

*This is the first post of our member spotlight series, written by one of our members, Angela! If you would like to write a similar post. Email us: homeschoool@studentlifelink.ca.

Angela: I am 17, and have been homeschooled my whole life. I honestly haven’t really done pro-life activism before. The extent of my pro-life work has been a few Life Chains and one March for Life, plus winning 2nd prize (and acting in the 1st prize video) in a pro-life video contest a year ago with Action Life Ottawa. An article on this contest was featured on LifeSite. Despite my lack of experience in the pro-life field, I would like to get more involved. I would especially like to use the talents God has given me and promote the culture of life through music and media.

But why should I be pro-life? Why should anyone? Why should we care if there’s one more person in the world?

Life itself is a deep profound gift. I know, this sounds totally clichéd. But it really is true. I like to think about the heart, the real physical heart. When you think about that organ, beating away of its own accord…it staggers the mind. The heart supplies the body with, well, everything if you sum it up, but what supplies the heart? What is it that makes that little pump pump? Certainly not me, certainly not you, and certainly not anyone else here on earth. But that little thing just keeps pumping away. That poor little heart! working so hard to keep a little body alive, and we give it very little thought.

Imagine a very tiny heart. Little. Hidden away. But it’s doing its job. It doesn’t know why it’s doing it, but it bravely goes on. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Every day it sends more blood to steadily growing cells. That little tiny heart knows what it does is important, but somehow also knows the job didn’t start with it. But that’s okay. “I’ve been assigned to keep this body alive, and I will,” the heart thinks. THA-Thump. THA-Thump.

  A-MAZING! How cool is that?

That little tiny heart is giving life-blood to a little tiny baby. And that little tiny baby is just waiting, is ready to take on the world. Heart and baby! Who are we to deny them a chance?

This doesn’t do justice–by any stretch of the imagination–to what it means to be pro-life, to the truths that are being constantly disregarded. But it takes one little step at a time to do what the pro-life movement is doing. Baby steps.