Letter to the editor on free speech revisited

I suppose it doesn’t really matter if we have free speech or not because heroic people will speak up about important stuff anyway- and sometimes the shock of that rebellion is helpful

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Letter to the globe and mail public editor

Dear Editor, please consider the following letter responding to Matthew Sears’ piece:

The dictators of the world don’t seem to agree with Matthew Sears that freedom of speech benefits the already powerful. I maintain the hope that when something good is well said everyone listens, even when it comes from a humble source on the margins. I share Matthew Sears’ resolve to listen to everyone; I just don’t see how we can listen, though, and be open to paradigm shifts, without everyone also being free to speak. I’ll add that in this polarized world let’s resolve to use that speech with honesty and generosity.

Stewart Britton, Belleville, Ontario

The freedom of priorities revisited

I wrote about the freedom you feel when, like Kitty in Anna Karenina, you find what’s most important- what you would give everything for- and how that gets everything in line and gets you moving again. When you find that out, you can easily give up most things and you can have the courage to give up harder things when called upon. I think of the story of Aron Ralston in the movie 127 hours: that’s an intense version of what you would sacrifice to be able to move again and live! Here’s hoping that everyone finds what is most important in 2019!

The freedom of priorities

Kitty’s therapeutic relationship with Varenka is charged by the clarity of what’s most important and what’s replaceable. That’s the peace and freedom of finding hidden treasure and selling all you have to buy the land it’s hidden in. Kitty’s anxiety, like most, is induced when she is tricked by a status grubbing social circle into caring about stuff that she knows deep down isn’t important- that’s why she’s drawn so strongly to the question of what’s most important- that clears the air and gives her room to breath

We we can learn from deck screws about conformity and diversity

We we can learn from deck screws about conformity and diversity

I was working on a footbridge and I thought, “I wouldn’t be able to drill in this deck screw if all the different parts weren’t fulfilling their nature- if the screw wanted to be the drill etc. – but I also wouldn’t be able to do it if all the different parts weren’t in line with one another- and if the different parts aren’t in line, then it doesn’t matter how powerful the drill is, in fact the more power, the more everything needs to be in line!

What we can learn about conformity and diversity from deck screws

I was working on a footbridge and I thought, “I wouldn’t be able to drill in this deck screw if all the different parts weren’t fulfilling their nature- if the screw wanted to be the drill etc. – but I also wouldn’t be able to do it if all the different parts weren’t in line with one another- and if the different parts aren’t in line, then it doesn’t matter how powerful the drill is, in fact the more power, the more everything needs to be in line!

I’ve read several reviews on Mudbound and I have something to add

I’ve read several reviews and I won’t try to express what these reviewers have already expressed eloquently and powerfully.

Still, I will add something that the major reviews I’ve read have overlooked. The great hope in the end of the movie is acknowledgment of fatherhood. This is the power of the movie: that we need to take responsibility and atone for our sins is critical (and movingly conveyed throughout the movie), but the vital ending shows us how so many of us, through a lack of courage or lack of true self esteem, also aren’t able to take responsibility for the beauty we’re a part of- further, when innocence is lost and evil has stolen your voice, it is that beauty that will speak for itself, if only we are, like Ronsel, faithful enough to acknowledge it!