Roles of the Church
Written by Jenna Cole Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:00
With Pope Francis officially sworn in, many eyes are on the religious leader to see what will happen next. Already assessments have been made about him: he seems humble, genuine, and has a heart for the poor. On the flip side, many believe the pope is traditional and stuck in the past on homosexuals and gender roles.
Multiple personality or social media persona?
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 14:32
Social media has drastically altered how we document our human experience. We post, tweet, link and share all our curiousities, insecurities, triumphs and tribulations. We have commenced downloading our entire existence in the form of videos, photos and 140-character blurbs with no indication that we may actually be losing our identity.
Gender issues in the workforce
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 15:49
Being a woman in the workforce and balancing a home life with a career can be challenging.
Human trafficking affect us all.
Written by David Kirby Tuesday, 12 February 2013 15:01
Human trafficking is a $31 billion business that affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide. The trade, ranked as the second most profitable enterprise for organized criminals, behind drugs, is rampant in not only developing countries, but also in Western nations such as Canada.
Guns, games and death
Written by Jenna Cole Tuesday, 29 January 2013 13:20
It’s sad to think 2012 ended with the slaying of 28 lives in Newtown, Connecticut. Sadder still is that between Jan. 10 and Jan. 23 there have been five recorded school shootings spread across the United States.
Stress, lack of faith and money is daunting to Canadians at Christmas
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:01
The commercialization of Christmas becomes a stressful time to most Canadians and borders on a dreaded time of the year rather than the most wonderful.
According to a poll conducted last year by The Bank of Montreal (BMO), Canadians are going to spend seven per cent more over the holiday compared to two years ago.
Albertans will also spend more than the average cost which is $1,397 per person, at approximately $1,600 for gifts, trips and other forms of entertainment.
Rushing around to find the perfect gift for your loved one in record time can create tension and debt between families. Travelling expenses also puts the pressure on with high traffic volumes, possible delayed flights, leaving people impatient and in a constant frenzy.
How many people actually know the real meaning behind Christmas? I can guess that most people have lost their meaning due to a lack of faith. The purpose, in my opinion, is to enhance spiritual values of some kind even if you’re not necessarily religious and not replace them with materialistic views.
Also, the sense of always “needing” to spend on extended family or others out of obligation, instead of keeping it within your immediate family every now and then - which is not always a bad thing.
If you didn’t receive any gifts or something relatively big and flashy during the holidays would you feel upset? Or would you focus on the fact that you’re alive and well and spending time with your family or other loved ones.
If you don’t have enough money for what one might consider a lot of gifts, would something simple and heartfelt not suffice? It’s not about how much you can buy for a person but the thought that you put into one gift that could be something small but still as meaningful.
For 2012, BMO suggests just 34 per cent of people set budgets for their daily expenses.
It leaves me to think what people do during the holidays? Do they put it all on credit and spend the next year trying to pay it off with each pay cheque? That could very well be the reality we’re all ashamed to admit.
I believe that during the holidays we teach children that whatever they get they are entitled to, forgetting that it’s a privilege to get anything. What child really needs a thousand toys that just collect dust after a few uses? Or is it really important to get an iPhone 5 for your 12-year-old? Clearly they are serious business people who need to keep in contact with their company 24/7.
It’s unfortunate that families are losing their sense of traditional values over the holidays such as going to church, having yearly rituals of going to your Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner, driving around the city with your dad looking at Christmas lights and so forth.
When did people stop listening to their inner voice and start listening to big advertising companies that distort the perfect image of a family?
Possibly there is too much hype over holidays. Before Halloween finished some stores began rolling out Christmas decorations and blaring holiday jingles.
Shoppers Drug Mart had to shut down their festive spirit early because people were complaining about Christmas music playing only two days after Halloween.
I’m certain customers didn’t want to hear yuletide carols so soon and have images of sugarplums dancing in their head as they shopped for leftover discounted Halloween candy.
There’s also a debate to say “Merry Christmas” or a generic “Happy Holidays.” For some people who aren’t religious and celebrate Christmas (some might dub a religious holiday) is confusing for some. So, what exactly do you say to an atheist then?
Growing up, saying Merry Christmas had nothing to do with me being Catholic, it was just known as the term for the holidays.
This year try to ignore the consumer commercialism with flashy signs that keep telling you a bargain will only last two more days, you must resist the urge to spend.
Giving a gift is ultimately your choice so don’t get sucked in or feel obligated just because it’s your sister’s boyfriends aunt Mary.
Try giving from the heart and not from your wallet. Spending time with loved ones could be your greatest gift of all.
More than silence for Canadian veterans
Written by Gregory Humber Tuesday, 06 November 2012 15:22
Remembrance Day has been a proud Canadian tradition ever since the end of the First World War in 1918. Another tradition is reading the poem In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian Lieutenant John McCrae, or listening to the bugling of the Last Post. We may have been a young nation but we rose to any military challenge.
Picture trudging your feet through wet sand while frigid water laps against your waist on Juno beach all while bullets are whizzing past your head. Now imagine if you fail, your country and its people are at stake. In the First World War 66,665 Canadian soldiers lost their lives and 46, 998 were killed in the Second World War.
The last Canadian veteran from the First World War died in 2010. It almost feels as if we lost part of our history. Some wonder if Remembrance Day will continue and if it will be relevant to younger generations.
We say yes, this day will be upheld especially now when we have younger veterans from the conflict in Afghanistan.
Young people today see Remembrance Day as a holiday, or an hour assembly spent listening veterans talk about their experiences. They may see someone at the mall with a donation box and poppies but are unaware of the significance of the wars or what was at stake.
We have a proud military history. Canada’s war efforts are absent in many movies and books. We need to educate younger generations so they know about our country’s role in these conflicts.
Honour our veterans and if you meet one say thank you. Their sacrifices are the reason we have the freedoms we enjoy today.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a moment of silence will be held across Canada to remember our veterans and the sacrifices they made for our nation.
Attend an event or watch one on TV. Wear a poppy: whose bright red colour symbolizes the blood spilled on the battlefield. Remembering these wars and the sacrifices, we may be able to avoid future conflict.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 14:00
Safety in the workplace should be common sense but lately in Alberta it doesn’t seem so common. With all the safety regulations, training and protocol being enforced in workplaces, it’s alarming that people are still getting hurt on the job site.
Sadly almost anyone who has worked in construction or the service industry has seen safety practices and protocols abandoned at the expense of production. Equipment malfunctions, shipping delays and regulatory restrictions are all parts of doing business but can often slow the pace of production. When this occurs, crews and management are forced to make decisions that could put a person in harm’s way. Safety, the first and last line of defence for the worker is overlooked for the great Canadian loonie, once again.
Sometimes it’s as small as forgetting to mop up that spill you had on aisle nine or forgetting your crescent wrench on top of the latter. Most of the time it’s twisting your lower back from improper lifting technique or cutting your thumb open from forgetting to wear your safety gloves. A couple of stiches or a few trips to the chiropractor are minor in the big scheme of things.
But once in a while an accident occurs that stops everyone in their tracks and gets them thinking about safety once again. Only this time it was five accidents in less than a week. The worst part is that these men did not return safe from work, even worse they didn’t return home at all. Unfortunately they perished trying to pay their bills, put food on the table and maybe even put their kids through school.
The sudden surge of fatalities has everyone taking a closer look how they look at safety. The government is reviewing regulations, hiring more staff and downloading administrative powers. Companies are tightening up on safety practices in the workplace and spending more money on training. The individual is left with nothing more to do than abide by these practices and protocols and they are left with final choice on whether or not they will.
The workplace has seen drastic improvements in safety regulations and procedures over the years. From the railroads and coal mines of yesterday to today’s oil sands and wind turbine farms, we have come a long way in ensuring the safety of our men and women. Companies, associations and individuals have spent countless hours developing in-depth procedures, refining industry regulations and inventing safety mechanisms or protocols.
Even with the evolution of innovation and the procurement of knowledge, the employee is left with the final decision. They are the final defence in protecting their well-being. It is up to them to learn proper techniques, follow safety protocol and abide by government regulation. All the training and equipment in the world cannot save the man or woman who decides to not put safety as a priority.
Accidents are random acts or occurrences happening without foreseeable cause or reason. They are usually followed by negative reaction or consequence. They do happen and will happen but we need to get back to reducing them. Other than mechanical failures and environmental calamities, accidents are most often caused by human failure or negligence. Often it’s the individuals who have failed and put themselves in harm’s way. The government and the company are doing all they can to ensure safety of their employees. Now it’s up to them to decide if they want work safely or not.
Risks and hazards are prevalent in many fields but by following safety practices we can reduce the chances of accidents. We need to start promoting safety as the number one priority. We need to make it a topic at the lunch table and on the job site. It should be discussed prior to work, followed during work and appreciated after work. Putting on your hard hat or double checking the lifting swing could be the difference between a job well done and life abruptly cut short. It’s a matter of being aware, vigilant and vocal.
Governments, companies and individuals need to continue to work together to create a culture of safety in the work place. We all need to learn and follow our roles with a sense urgency and dedication. Only then can we safely work our way into the future.
Bully prevention is society's responsibility
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:45
Bullying is everywhere and has been occurring since the dawn of time. Now, with the advent of the Internet, bullies have found a new way to torment their victims.
Cyber-bullying is the latest in bully tactics going viral through the use of social media. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being used in the assault. Bullies use these sites as masks and because society has placed such emphasis on social media, it’s society’s responsibility to train young people on proper Internet etiquette.
Society has made these social sites a huge part of our lives. With young people more computer literate than their predecessors, proper education on these sites is even more vital. What really matters is that you are kind, respectful and real to yourself.
To most youth, manners are not considered part of being “cool.” To them, being cool means having tons of friends on Facebook, driving a car to school or starting for the school basketball team. Society has created a void of what is real and what is not.
Parents should be friends with their children on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. They should also be more vigilant in observing what their kids are posting and what is being posted about them. Yes, you can delete a tweet or post, but once it’s been sent, it’s out there and cannot be returned.
Amanda Todd unwittingly made the mistake of flashing someone on the web. That someone took a screen shot and forever captured the image. It’s possible that with a little education and information, Amanda would have been better prepared to make a healthier decision.
Together we can stop bullying if we stand united. But the real question is, will we? People seem to take a blind-eye approach to the issue. Unless directly affected, parents don’t seem to understand. Some kids in school completely avoid the problem. There are rallies and workshops and even a private-member bill in the House of Commons. Still, kids are choosing to bully and forcing other children to make irrational decisions in the face of torment.
What else can be done? Should criminal charges be laid? Should we as a society, ruin one child’s life by locking them up, only to save another? There has to be another way.
It is all about prevention. It is parents’ responsibility to educate their children and it’s up to the education system to supplement this. More importantly, society as a whole is responsible for the way we treat each other. We need to slow down, take a second and listen to our kids. We need to show them how to be kind to people and generous to others.
The problem is being drastically undermined when you consider that 41 per-cent of parents with children aged 12 and 13 have reported cyber-bullying in their homes. It’s as if people on the web feel they are anonymous and feel that they can be even more cruel. Home used to be a place for solace for the tormented child. It was a place a child did not have to deal with people who may not like them, or have problems with. Now with the Internet in our homes and on our phones, there is nowhere left to run.
Cyber-bullying is the fastest growing form of bullying. The government has the ability to take files from social media sites for investigation or for prosecution. Even with the ominous reach the government has, it seems little is being is being done to stop it.
Bullying is felt all across the world. Kids will be kids. It has happened forever and with the introduction of social media, it seems like there is nowhere to hide. The Internet can be used for so much more. Social networking can be used to ease the world’s problems. Instead it is being used to ruin lives before they start.
The solution starts with you. Begin by thinking about how you treat others and how your words affect them. If you hear slander directed at others, stand up and speak out. Don’t stand by in silence. That child being tormented needs your voice.
Take the time to understand people for we are all here together. To stop bullying we must stand together. Only we can change the world together.
Sex: you've been warned
Friday, 19 October 2012 15:01
Chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea and syphilis; it seems that the only thing less infectious than these diseases is the spread of awareness. According to the Sexual Health Centre in Lethbridge, the spread of sexually transmitted infections is at an all-time high with no end in sight. Nowhere is this more prevalent and important than on campus.
‘Got the clap?’ is not the question you want to be asking your significant, or less than significant other. But the numbers tell us that if southern Albertans don’t start taking an active roll in their sexual health, things could get out of hand.
Last week was Sexual Awareness Week at the Lethbridge College and the LCSA took the opportunity to spread information about common symptoms and preventative measures. They did this to promote a growing problem that stems from ignorance rather than accessibility. Most students and young adults don’t think of the risks involved in having unprotected sex. This includes oral and anal sex.
STIs can cause harm to your body, mental state, and relationships. Yet these issues are not making an impact on Lethbridge residents. Students are meeting new partners for the first time and may be too trusting of their intimate partners sexual past. STIs don’t discriminate homosexuals, heterosexuals, first nations, Caucasians, foreign students, or lifetime southern Alberta residents. Everyone and anyone are at risk for contracting an STI.
But is any of this news to us? Have we not heard this all before? What lengths do we need to go to in order to ensure people are practicing safe sex? It has gotten to the point where you just don’t have an excuse for getting an STI in the first place. Pleading ignorance is no longer acceptable. There are constant fundraisers and awareness campaigns such as the red ribbon campaign, not to mention children being enrolled in sex ed. from the 4th grade on.
Why are southern Albertans missing the memo? Why do we have this sense of immunity within us that makes us think that it can’t happen to us?
Teen sex just seems like it’s not taboo anymore. Actually, not only is it not taboo, it’s a ratings boost! The teens featured on the showsTeen Mom and 16 & pregnant are not criticized, they are on the covers of People, and are making headlines on Entertainment Tonight.
Entertainment? Is that what this is? Is it entertaining to see young girls say ‘no’ to college education and ‘yes’ to early pregnancy? Some of these so-called “stars” have served lengthy jail sentences for spousal abuse! Is it entertainment that five-year olds are wearing revealing outfits and trying to win a contest based on sexual appeal? Sorry, they call it ‘beauty’, not sexual appeal.
But maybe that’s missing the point. Surely southern Albertans know the difference between being entertained by others’ ways of life, and treating these people as role models. We at the Endeavour have faith that our fellow southern Albertans are not being affected by pop culture.
So what is it that is not being said? Are people unaware of what an STI does to you? Is it that anal leakage, rashes and sores on the genitals are not enough of a reason to avoid syphilis? Or that discharge from the genitals, cramping and rashes are not reason enough to avoid chlamydia? Call it scare tactics if you want, but this is real, and you can count on the fact that someone you have met has had, or has, an STI.
Whatever the reason, it’s happening still. People line up every year for flu shots, but turn away from sexual health clinics. This just doesn’t make sense.
Bottom line; Get checked and be vigilant. Nobody is asking you to remain completely abstinent, just to be proactive about your sexual health.
Lethbridge College is happy to provide free condoms at the health center, and you can also get free condoms at the Sexual Health Centre in downtown Lethbridge. Appointments can be made with a doctor at the college, as well as many great physicians in our community. All of which can help you be sure that your sex life is a healthy one.
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