Earth day 2022
By Abbey Wolf
April 22, 2022
Today officially marks the 52nd International Earth Day, acknowledged in over 200 countries across the globe.
On this day, myriads of organizations and individuals (yours truly included) celebrate environmental diversity and discuss the dangers to the environment.
Although the focus is (and should be) on industries to do more to address the issues caused by their impact on global warming, we see individuals stepping up and making changes in their routines to assist in the battle. On a micro level, many individuals who weren’t recycling a few years back now find that they are taking part today. Their attitudes and responses are switching sides in support of helping the movement rather than hampering it.
Governments and municipalities continue to provide recycling services to the public and contribute funds to non-profits and businesses that promote environmental awareness and change.
I remember it was towards the end of the 80s when we first received a large green recycling bin. I noticed how multiple households would use the bins for purposes other than what they intended. Our bin was frequently stolen from the door stoop or poorly discarded after being emptied. We took responsibility and ownership of our bin by marking our address on it with a large bold “Sharpie.” That certainly discouraged the thieves. Today, it is more common than not to recycle in a household and the overflowing trash and recycle bins on the corners of the street, lay testament to our conditioning to pitch in and clean up. One might get the impression that the city is neglecting to empty the bins, or, they should empty them more frequently. In reality, the issue is more complex than how it appears. Recently, China banned certain materials from our recycling. Consequently, the processes used to recycle these materials are required to change. The city is doing everything it can to source a new buyer and market for recycled materials as they struggle to manage these currently banned materials. Montreal along with many other cities in North America are faced with the fact they must now address this issue and that will require some drastic changes in the structure of these recycling facilities.
As for we the people, it is safe to say that most individuals are doing as much as they are able with what tools they are being given. Despite our collective efforts, valiant as they may be, environmentalists continue to raise the flags and sound alarms. It is in my opinion that organizations must seek alternative measures to pressure governments, industry leaders and large corporations to do more than what is currently being done. I believe it is important to keep in mind that we are on the right path and although the question “are we doing enough” is still the buzz, hope has not been completely removed from the table as many may fear or suggest.
For Canada, the ultimate goal is to reach zero emissions by 2050. The plan starts with Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, a comprehensive 200-page report outlining the Canadian government’s intentions and plans to reduce greenhouse gasses and lower the rates of harmful emissions. There is a multitude of examples of nationwide programs to reach these goals. Many of these plans are underway, or, “on the backburner” waiting for funds or legislation.
There is a lot of information in the report regarding the current state of our environment across the provinces. There is extensive research regarding the levels of heavy industry emissions and their impact on the environment.
Investments are detailed and matched up with plans “to support the decarbonization and sustainable growth of Canada’s largest industrial emitters through investments in the adoption of clean technology and processes that will dramatically reduce the GHG footprint of these industries by 2030, and create pathways to net-zero by 2050.”
Tentative programs and shelved plans can be daunting, but at least these examinations are in line with the possibility of a brighter and cleaner future. I believe that much of the needed challenge remains with the public and small businesses. There are still far too many litterbugs and those who deny we have an issue at hand.
Hopefully, those who continue to flick their cigarette butts, or drop their candy wrappers without thinking about their actions, will eventually cross over to the clean side with the greener grass and join us in our endeavor to clean the mess we all made.
By Abbey Wolf
March 8th, 2022
Today is International Women’s Day. What does that mean to you? Have you asked yourself? Regardless of how you identify yourself and how you identify with your gender? Well, it is a day where we commemorate the achievements of women and girls all over the globe.
Today, we remember and celebrate all the superheroes who stood on the front lines of the battle for gender equality and human rights. We commemorate these movements, or at least we try.
Today, International Women’s Day happens during a moment in history when we are being overwhelmed by multiple and distressful circumstances. War and plague make this day even more challenging to celebrate with joy. In the past, we have had better days indeed. We were able to celebrate and communicate the headway of the women’s movement.
Thankfully, women are resilient. Whether or not this is from conditioning or nature, women are often viewed as proverbial pillars of strength when human struggles get real-this being a common theme in human history. Women are taking the hits and the blows (as always), being the weaker sex as we are often still referred to as being.
Let us acknowledge nurses. Women represent 90% of all nurses in Canada and nearly 70% of healthcare workers globally. Imagine! All this COVID time and once again, in human history, when it comes to strife and struggles, it is women who are stepping up to carry or support a huge load of misery that affects us all.
Today, humanity is displaying vulnerabilities seemingly more than progress and hope. Not particularly the preferred direction in human evolution. As a result, the trend seems to be denial or aversion for many of us. So who is running into the fire these days? Women. Far too many at that. Burnouts are increasing for healthcare professionals. Another common statistic, women and girls still represent the highest numbers of victims (for any or everything) on the planet.
Today, looking at the trends in social media and how younger women are evolving, I often get the impression we are moving backwards in time…Much of the media is still controlled by men and or others, than women or girls …So with that said…
Today, we need to stand united more than ever before because today, we aren’t celebrating this day as we would prefer.
Today we need to reach into ourselves even deeper to find that inner strength most of us believe we have lost.
Today is not a day to be placid and joyful and pleasant. Don’t read this wrong because although the tone is frustrating and provocative, it is not negative. Rise up! This is a positive and powerful message.
All humans are resistant and it so happens that women, (more often than not) have no choice but to be directly in the face of adversity, pushing it away so that everyone can move forward rather than taking steps back.
What will you do, TODAY? Here is a suggestion, read something by Angela Davis or Gloria Steinem, especially if you never heard of these women. This is my recommendation and all be it, a vain attempt in contributing to a dialogue that is critical to help end the plight of women all over the world.
A New Year
By Abbey Wolf
December 31st, 2021
In a few short hours, it will be another bitter sweet new year for me. I don’t doubt it is the same for many others. It may just be bitter for many, it may be sweet for others. Living during a pandemic has been challenging and has caused some kind of “emotional displacement” in many of us. We have to learn how to feel differently about this situation. We need to act differently and conduct our affairs alternatively. It is quite simply not easy and I don’t think anyone is used to this yet. I know I am still trying and I have rebounds, although I do manage to pick myself up and with the intention to continue to shed light and positive energy. One of the easiest ways to feel positive is taking lot more pleasure in the simple things. I make cookies and chocolate and I do this to indulge, but mostly I do this to share and reach out to those I love.
Reach out to those you love in anyway shape or form that you can. That is the most important act we can all do, this New Years.
Be well and stay safe xoxo
By Abbey Wolf
October 13th, 2021
I don’t doubt that every soul on the planet is keeping up. Whether with appearances or spirits, it feels like the general vibe is how everyone puts effort into keeping up. There are so many ways and methods in which we can cope. They help us to cheer up, keep our heads above the water, you get the idea.
Humans are social beings. We don’t need to read about why or how we are social beings. It’s something we have known from our very first breath. It is innate. Presently, most of us are socially restricted and there are myriads of examples of how people all over the world have been maintaining social contact safely and pleasantly. Primarily, we are spending a lot more time online. We love our technology and depend on it more than ever before. It has been Noah’s Ark in the privileged world.
For those who work in the Tech industry, keeping up is critical to their work. Technology is ever-changing, so keeping up drives the need and demand for improvement. I am reading more these days than back when I was a student! It is a challenge to keep up with new trends in technology, even for those who work in the fields.
With all the change and the challenges in the world today, I believe patience is key. Patience helps to accept change. So, as we all continue to find our way in this rapidly changing world, it’s good to be confident and believe that the same technology that brought us to this very moment, can and will bring us a brighter and bolder future. We quite simply need to keep up.
Time of reckoning, time for healing
By Abbey Wolf
July 1st, 2021
Personally, July 1st has always been about and for my mother. It was her birthday. But this particular birthday rings like no other. Today, I imagine how she would have reacted if she were still alive. Recent events have triggered a slew of emotions and have filled my thoughts with complex reflections. I will start at the beginning of my mother’s story and then bring in the connections so you may have an understanding of where I am going with these thoughts.
My mother knew of suffering and struggle. She was born in Winnipeg on a small farm where her father and mother ran a fur trading post. During her early childhood, she suffered TB (tuberculosis). At the tender age of four, she was struck by a car and had to undergo facial reconstruction at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She was the clinic’s fifth patient as they had just opened their doors to the public. As a result of the TB and the trauma of the accident, she was immune-compromised for the rest of her adult life. She had numerous battles with illnesses of various kinds, such as cancer (several bouts), chronic lung disease, and osteoporosis. She fought off each one of these illnesses until the last, which inevitably took her life. Kay (as everyone called her) married at age eighteen and shortly after had left Winnipeg to start a family of her own. Unfortunately, due to her fragile health, she was unable to bear children. She had over six miscarriages, three of which went to term. Both my parents wanted nothing more than to raise children, as they had passionate intentions about creating a family. They decided to adopt. So entered my siblings and me, all newborns, spanning four and more years apart. Although they began parenthood later than most, they were as energetic in comparison to younger parents.
I, unlike my siblings, was an abandoned baby. My mother never wanted me to know this fact and couldn’t imagine how anyone could abandon their child considering what she endured trying to bear her own. She could not fathom the reality. She did not want me to know that my biological mother had rejected me. The truth was unbearable for her, so she projected and chose to “protect” me from this truth. Kay borrowed/created my adoption story. I was raised with intense love and caring from her and accepted it. I had no desire to know the details about my biological parents. But just as many truths come to light later in the years following the facts, this truth slipped from my father’s tongue when I was well into my thirties. I will never know why this was hidden for so long simply because my father didn’t know what compelled him to reveal this. He simply said that it was time that I know the truth.
Hiding the truth was often how my mother felt she could protect me. Mom was conditioned to be a survivor from a very early age and self-taught on how to overcome. Her existence and experiences molded her into the most humble, selfless, and empathetic person I have ever encountered up until this very day.
These reflections bring me to imagine how my mother would have reacted to the genocide of over a thousand (and still counting) innocent indigenous lives. I have no doubt it would have hit home for Kay, as she grew up playing with indigenous children at the trading post. At that time and still, to this day, Winnipeg has the largest indigenous population of any major city in Canada. Although her memories of the trading post were few, she held most of them fondly. However, she recalled how her father was opposed to the mistreatment of his indigenous partners, as government regulations increasingly restricted and controlled trade. Mom would rarely share memories of her struggles and strife. Her generation preferred to “bury” rather than admit or take responsibility for shameful events. Stories as such were covered up, sugar-coated, or silenced.
I do not doubt that if my mother were alive today, she would speak out. She would have attested to being a witness of hatred and indifference towards indigenous peoples, and sadly, I believe she would have felt the remorse of her silence about it.
Now is not the time to commemorate Canada day, or take pride in that celebration. It is the time for reckoning and healing.
On Being Positive: A cliché of the times.
By Abbey Wolf
We all know how challenging life is, at least most of us do. It doesn’t matter where we live, or what we do, life will always have a shit load of ups and downs which we need to endure. Maintaining positivity and especially in the face of adversity, is one of the best circumstances in which I find the strength to resist negative circumstances.
It is also crucial to remain in the present moment, because it helps to keep a healthy mindset. Performing our best and keeping our energies high and empowering, will reinforce us and the consistency in which we do this is important to maintain. Oprah Winfrey notes how beneficial being present is when she says ” doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
— Oprah Winfrey
Positive attitudes are empowering. We all know this because we all know how good it feels to be optimistic. Although the idea of remaining or being positive is a moth-eaten cliché, it happens to be true and irrefutable. The practice and the dedication of being positive, is worthy of that cliché; which is annoying when it’s especially hard to remain positive in hard times such as these! Consider that a positive attitude and taking positive actions has a whopping amount of power. It is something everyone has access to.
Being positive can and does effect change in the world. So why isn’t everyone trying to be more positive since its common knowledge that a positive outlook is the best one to have? Because it’s easier to complain, blame and give up. Personally, I make an effort and I deny the thoughts which bring me down. Happiness is high maintenance worth all the effort! When happiness rather than misery spreads, the tides of change will be for the better. That is why I much rather laugh than cry.
Happiness is high maintenance worth all the effort!
Isn’t it remarkable how the actions and wisdom of just ONE person can spark a movement? We all know that the influence of simply one person can change the world. Famous individuals in history such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ellen Degeneres… The list goes on of the countless individuals who have had a remarkable influence on humanity. They changed history. When masses of people unite with a common belief , it gives birth to movements. We are witnessing the rise of some of the most critical movements in human history. Greta Thunberg leads in the movement to clean and take care of our environment, especially if we want to ensure a healthy future for generations to come. We have movements to protect our wildlife, which we took for granted far too long. The Black lives matter movement can and will be for positive change. We can’t be more ready than we are NOW and at this moment in time, for positive change.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world”.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Most people believe that the power to change the world exists only in public figures, politicians, or famous people with popular platforms and hoards of followers. Having a positive attitude and taking positive actions has a whopping amount of power. It is something everyone has access to. When we emit positivity, it has a ripple effect in the world because it changes the perspectives of how others see us. It makes us engage in the things we do with more clarity and enthusiasm.
It is for these reasons (and a few more), why I am down with this particular cliché of the times,