Happy Thanksgiving Canada

Greetings!  I’m Christian Robicheau, assistant editor of writing services at www.sterlingcreations.ca.
Today, and on the eve of our Thanksgiving holiday here in Canada, I’d like to present you with a powerful editorial from our president Donna J. Jodhan.
Donna has written this article in response to her recent experiences on certain lists. 
Here now is Donna’s editorial.
Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Good morning:
On the Eve of our Thanksgiving holiday, I thought that I would take the liberty of asking for just a few minutes of your precious time.
Thanksgiving is a time for us to sit back and remember the things that we need to be thankful for.  A wonderful family, great friends, and a country that offers much to us.  There is always going to be more that we hope and wish for but much of our hopes and dreams can only be realized if we ourselves lend a helping hand to push things along.
Having spent some time living in a third world country, I can tell you that It is very easy for me to realize that Canada is a country that has the ability to offer much to disabled persons and to the blind community in particular.  However, it is up to us to become teachers and conduits for change and we can only do this if we as a community make a concerted and committed effort to work together to accomplish our common objectives.
Each time we carry out personal attacks on each other or disrespect each other’s opinion, it only serves to show the rest of the world how much we are unable to work together; how much we as a community are unable to respect each other let alone respect ourselves.  Each time we pick on each other’s posts and criticize them for their opinions, it only goes to show how much we fail to allow another their free speech.  Each time we make fun of each other’s opinion, we throw mutual respect and courtesy out of the window replacing it with contempt and ill feelings towards each other.
Our community is blessed with a wealth of experience, skills, and immensely talented persons.  Many of us have been around long enough to hand down stories of battles, wars, and disappointments; but let us not forget those stories of success and triumphs.  Yes, there are stories of triuphs and successes for us to pass along to others and it is with this thought in mind that I ask that we think of tomorrow’s generation.  The kids of the future are depending on us to help create a brighter future for them.  They are depending on us to help claim their legitimate rights; equal access to information, equal access to the Internet, and equal access to services.  They are innocent pawns in this continuing game of chess and we as a community should consider it our duty and obligation to help put them in a more favourable position on the chess board of life. 
In many ways, our community is no different to many others; we complain, we nag, we rip each other apart.  Just like the majority of other groups both within and outside of the disabled arena but this is no excuse for us to continue on our present ways.  It would be such a feather in our caps if we can somehow find a way to show the rest of the world that we are different; that we can put our differences aside for our common good, that we can listen, learn, and understand from each other, and that we can allow each other free speech. 
Respect is always earned; not a given and humility is something that many of us often forget when we take that unfortunate step to attack others without stopping to think or taking a few moments to read or listen to one’s opinion thoroughly.  Healthy and heartfelt criticism is always a plus for any community be it positive or negative but personal attacks have no business being in our emails.  We have the ability to rise above this and now is the time to put our claws away and show our kinder and gentler side to each other.  In short as President John F. Kennedy once said:  “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Strength lies in numbers and we need to use our numbers to start building bridges and lowering barriers; not burning bridges and erecting barriers.  I have learned a lot from having been on this list and I thank all of you who have taken the time to respond to me both on and off the list.  I have also learned that there are some persons who are vitally needed to assist us in pulling our paddles out of the swampy marshes and help us to launch our ship into more peaceful and calmer waters.  These are the persons who I would like to refer to as the more experienced states persons; persons who need to show others by example.  Persons who are willing to share, teach, and mentor; not berate others at the drop of a hat or at a whim of a fancy.
 I wish you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving. 
I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.
Happy Thanksgiving Canada!
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca and I would be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter.
Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan!  Advocating accessibility for all
a weekly feature on important answers to consumers concerns
Weekly blogs for language professionals and accessibility consultants
A monthly editorial on issues on diversity
a monthly editorial on business issues and concerns
weekly editorials on accessibility issues in Canada
Editorials:  An International perspective on issues of accessibility and disability
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com (under the editorials section, an international perspective)
A general perspective on issues of access and accessibility

About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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