At our Social Justice Feild Trip on December 12, 2013, one student wrote:
I loved this week so much.
I met the guy who created Jer’s vision, Jeremy Dias, and he is so infinitely amazing, friendly, and relatable. You would seriously never know he was the top head of this big organization just by speaking with him; that’s how down to earth he is. His website is here >> http://www.jersvision.org/
Anyways so a group of us were super privileged to meet him and have some great discussions. We talked about money and the government and that whole 1% idea. It does seem very unfortunate that there are billionaires in this world and then there are people living in very poor conditions. The inequality is mind-blowing to the point that I can’t even think about it for to long without my mind going off in all different directions and asking questions that I always have trouble figuring out. For example, one that just popped into my head was: Are the billionaires of this world really as well off as we view them to be? and What defines someone as poor anyways? Should rich and poor be solely based on money, or should it also be based on emotional, intellectual, and moral well-being? Which factor is most important not only to society, but to the individual?
See what I mean? Questions are popping up all the time and just when I feel like I’ve decided on an opinion regarding a certain question, another one pops up and puts everything into question again. It is somewhat annoying sometimes, but for the most part, I enjoy the activity it generates in brain. I’ve always been a thinker, just more so lately…
Anyways, so I also met some politicians and that was really interesting. The first guy who talked to us was a senator and ex-mayor of Toronto, Art Eggleton. He had some informative things to say about poverty in Canada and how we all need to work together to eliminate it, but he didn’t actually tell us what he was doing as a senator to improve this issue. And then he left before question period, so none of us could ask him all the questions we wanted to. I think that was extremely planned on his part; what with him being the ex-mayor or Toronto AND a senator…
After that, David Golob who is head of communications from the Human Rights Commission, spoke with us. He was more personal and shared some of his own story and what has inspired him to want to work in the human rights field. Nothing extraordinary stuck out to me from his presentation though.
The last two speakers were by far the best. The first was Rathika Sitsabaiesan who as an NDP MP representing Scarborough. She shared an amazing story on how she was born during the war in Sri Lanka and came to Canada when she was only a few years old. She is an advocate for women’s rights and seems very passionate with what she does. I watched some clips of her speaking in the House of Commons on Youtube afterwards and I quite like her spunk and convincing attitude. While she seems like a tough woman that no one should mess with, she is also very sweet, caring and willing to stand up for the issues that she believes in.
Our last speaker was a NDP MP for Ottawa Centre, Paul Dewar. He was really awesome because he was really just laid back and calm, but you could also feel the passion in his voice when he spoke about matters that he was concerned with. I also liked the fact that he answered my question fairly honestly (or as honest as a politician is allowed to be). I had asked how they deal with moral dilemmas in politics, and what they would do if they knew there was corruption going on within the Government. He actually admitted that he is faced with those kinds of things every day and that he often has to walk the line between what he knows is wrong and right. It was more of an answer than I had expected to be honest.
The only thing I would’ve really wanted was more time to speak with these people. I really would’ve had a bunch more things to talk to them about, but we were extremely short on time and they all had places to go. Never the less, I had an amazing time! Apparently we are going to do it again next semester! I really can’t wait.
Other than that, things have been new and exciting and weird, but awesome. That’s all I’m going to say for now.
Really though, I’ve been thinking about a whole new range of stuff and things and things and stuff lately. I like it a lot. I’ve always been a thinker, and I’ve always cared, but I feel like I’m really becoming who I want to be which feels really good.
So anyways, this week is the last week of school before the holidays. I’ve got lots of work to get done, but I really wanted to get this blog post in. I hadn’t written since Wednesday and I want to make sure this keeps on going. I’m going to start carrying around a little notebook to write down my thoughts so that I remember the things I want to write about 🙂
Basically, I had an amazing week!
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” – Martin Luther King Jr