Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ripple effect

Rob Bernshaw

One sees black while the other sees white. Is it Potato (pot ay to) or is it Potato (po tot o). It is all a matter of perspective or is that semantics? Now one could quibble whether or not the flapping of the butterflies wings affects weather patterns in the rest of the world but if one were to think about it what happens to the ripple from the rock thrown into a still pool of water.

Here is an excerpt from the 365Give web page of grade 6 students from Ecole Pauline Johnson in West Vancouver:
Hello/Bonjour!We are grade 6 students from Ecole Pauline Johnson, here in West Vancouver. Over the last few months we have been doing a project at our school called “The 365give Challenge” where we are encouraging people to do something kind and helpful every day of the year for the environment, animals or people.“Source:
Now some would say what does that have to with us in our neck of the woods? This writer fully believes that we live in a world community and no city town or village is an island unto itself nor immune to the ripple effect from some other part of the world. This is especially true in this present day instant communication world economy where one can talk and see their brothers and sisters in a blink of an eye (Skype or other related applications), even if they are on the other side of this small world we live on. There is all manner of instant communication available to most everyone and if not available now, probably by the end of this century will be available to everyone and their dog or cat.

The saying “it is such a small world” comes to mind and therefore the ripple effect of what each one of us does can and possibly will affect what happens around the world especially in the global economy we currently depend upon.

The advent of the World Wide Web via the Internet provides almost instant access to information that one could only have imagined say as little as 100 years ago.

Our lives are now so intertwined and interconnected via the internet and various social media applications, that what a person in Pincher Creek says or does will eventually ripple through society so that it will eventually end up around the world(if it has not already done so). It is probably hard to fathom for some that what is done in one city or jurisdiction will have beneficial results for all, or dire consequences for all depending on the situation or event that takes place at any given time.

Here is a brief excerpt from an article titled Brief History of the Internet by the Internet Society:
The first recorded description of the social interactions that could be enabled through networking was a series of memos written by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in August 1962 discussing his "Galactic Network" concept. He envisioned a globally interconnected set of computers through which everyone could quickly access data and programs from any site. In spirit, the concept was very much like the Internet of today. Licklider was the first head of the computer research program at DARPA,4 starting in October 1962. While at DARPA he convinced his successors at DARPA, Ivan Sutherland, Bob Taylor, and MIT researcher Lawrence G. Roberts, of the importance of this networking concept. Source:
Now one may be wondering what this is all about? Recent events here in Canada the cold blooded killing of the Canadian soldier 53-year-old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent with a motor vehicle(as weapon of choice) in Quebec and the soldier 24 year old Corporal Nathan Cirillo standing ceremonial guard duty at the monument to Canada’s war dead gunned down in his youth by a lone gunman, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa has hopefully opened some eyes, that were previously closed to the fact that Canada is no longer immune to the bullying tactics of various terrorists and their ilk. We can no longer keep our heads in the sand and hope that the bullies(terrorists) will disappear and leave others alone. Zero tolerance for bullying should be the order of the day and it is great to see that Canadians are stepping up and pushing back hard to rid the world of this insidious virus that has been plaguing humanity around this great world we live on.

While those events are tragic and this writer sees them as acts of bullies(terrorists) there is also another perspective that is being thrown out there and that is these are two separate acts of individuals that have had troubled lives and therefore are random acts not related to the threat that ISIS gave recently regarding Canadas involvement as an ally against terrorism around the world.

Excerpt from a CTV online article:
ISIS released several online propaganda videos over the weekend calling for attacks on citizens of Western countries.According to ABC News, the video says: “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European, especially the spiteful and filthy French, or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever, then rely upon Allah and kill him in any manner or way however it may be.” Source:
There is an audio recording on the webpage as well.

Now was Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent killed by a terrorist following the decree of ISIS or was the murderer a troubled individual looking to commit suicide by police or military? The same question could be asked of the masked gunmen that murdered in cold blood 24 year old Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the monument to Canada’s war dead near Parliament Hill? This gunmen than went on a shooting rampage in the central hall while MPs barricaded themselves behind wooden doors and was eventually fatally shot by 29-year RCMP veteran Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons.

Was this gunman also on a suicide mission seeking death at another’s hand? Those answers will remain with the murderers as they are not in a position to answer as they are both now deceased by the heroic efforts of our security forces and the individuals employed to protect us.

Condolences are in order at this time to the family, friends, loved ones and survivors of the two heroic soldiers murdered while in the line of duty. It is sad day for the survivors when any person loses their lives and especially horrific when murdered in plain sight of other individuals that are sometimes frozen for an instant in time feeling powerless as to the events unfolding in front of their eyes.

Currently we as citizens of a freedom loving democratic society are free to live, breathe, believe and think what we will without being penalized for it. That is also true for members of all levels of government, whether opposition parties or the party which is the flavor of the day, have that right to say what they believe is right in their eyes as well. Will we all agree or will we all agree to disagree that is our ability and right at this point in time? What will happen to that freedom under the constitution if a law is enacted that will punish all people that condone terrorist acts? Who would decide what is construed as condoning? Who would have the ultimate power to decide and control what we think and speak? Ultimately will that law, which could be illegal under the Constitution make us all criminals and will freedom of speech and freedom of the press end as we know it? Before any law is enacted that could curtail our freedoms even more, there needs to be a total evaluation of what powers need to be improved for our security personnel without affecting the freedoms and rights and civil liberties we currently have under the Constitution of Canada.

Tougher laws may not always be the answer especially if it will curtail the freedoms we currently enjoy today. Let us hope that calmer minds will prevail and look seriously what needs to be done to protect the citizens of Canada without affecting our current freedoms and rights. Would programs that would integrate or reintegrate possible terrorist candidates into society be a possible solution? That is probably one of many ideas that need to be looked at and scrutinized moving forward.

Now a lot of people use religion as an excuse to commit atrocities against their fellow human beings. What is it that causes them to behave in such a manner? Is it their perspective of what they read or see? Possibly so and since the current perspective of Islam extremists that all that do not follow their belief system are classified as infidels and therefore to be destroyed by whatever means possible.

We as Canadians need to step back and realize that it is not all people that believe in Islam are terrorists. In fact the Muslim community has taken a stand against terrorism in its many forms and are speaking out against radically challenged individuals. They are standing as one as Canadians and are on the same team to eliminate such acts of aggression as it is not the true form of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony with everyone, not a religion of war and aggression. The Muslims that this writer knows are caring kind individuals, so let us remember to stand together as Canadians one and all and fight extremism and terrorism together.

This writer is constantly reviewing and revising how a perspective that may seem perfectly logical one day may be irrelevant the next due to a possible kick in the rear to take a look from a different vantage point.

We all need that kick once in a while to help keep our perspectives in order. What that kick could be is any one’s guess, it could be a statement by a friend on FB, or a statement made by a coworker, family members, or even something appearing in the paper, radio or on TV. One does not know what that kick might be but in order to move forward to a better society we all need a kick in the rear once in awhile to allay our fear and hopefully we will recognize that kick when it does appear.

Not everyone will agree with everyone at any given time, but everyone will agree with someone at any given time. Also at any given time an individual may agree or not agree with another individual or group. At the end of the day we as Canadians may all agree to disagree with any other individual or group at any given time.

Here is a question for one to ponder and think about:

Are we all ultimately affected by others in this small world we all currently reside upon, or are we alone on an island somewhere in our own little world unaffected by events elsewhere?


Sometimes it is Hard to See... What truly affects you and me. 

by Rob Bernshaw

As one takes time to ponder the great beyond

Take a moment to remember the butterfly and the ripple in the pond.

Do they ultimately affect others in the process of the beating of the wings,

Or the outwardly forming of concentric rings?


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