Hello my fellow human Beings:
For those of you living in Canada, you will know that this week was a historic one for the advancement of equality in our society. On February 11, 2013, Kathleen Wynne was sworn in as the 25th Premier of Ontario by the province’s first lieutenant governor with a disability, David Onley. She became the first woman and the first openly gay person to hold this rank in the Province of Ontario. In addition, a band of Mohawk First Nations women performed the wolf song in honour of Premier Wynne at the ceremony. It was the first time that First Nations women have appeared in the Legislature.
Oh how far we have come, when the best person for the job is chosen not by her gender, her creed, her race or her sexual orientation, but by her skills, talents and experience.
Premier Wynne commented about diversity and equality in her inaugural speech, stating:
“It is not lost on me that I am the first woman to be sworn into this office, and that I am doing so with the support of the woman that I love. …
Political pioneers like Agnes Macphail, one of the first two women MPPs in Ontario, proved that it was possible to overcome the imposed social limitations of their time. …
I want to thank all of those who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of equality … and everyone who has contributed to this moment and others like it, by refusing to be guided by prejudice or by doubt. …
Our individual dreams may be articulated in English, or in French, or in Mohawk, or in Cree or in Urdu, but they speak to a collective vision that must be celebrated and pursued. …We are not removed from one another, we are bound together for a desire for a bright future.”
I am so proud to be an Ontarian – to live in a place where anyone can aspire to achieve their dreams regardless of whether a woman or a man, gay or straight, able-bodied or disabled, or any colour of the rainbow.
Equality is celebrating the diversity of others, their unique talents, traits and perspectives, and remembering that our differences put together create a vibrant whole community. We are all connected. We are all part of the same Universe, the one Consciousness that unites us all.
Margaret Fishback Powers, author of the famous poem, Footprints, writes in her book, Footprints: Book of Inspirations”:
“One life can influence an entire community, just as a flower can fill a room with sweet perfume.”
So as we start the Lenten season in the Christian calendar and during this month of love, I encourage you to find time to be still. Reflect on your unique connection to all Beings. Contemplate ways that through your life you can strengthen equality in your community –ways in which you can spread the sweet scent of semblance. Consider how you can encourage others to remember that we are not removed from one another, rather we are joined together in a common vision for a brighter future – one in which all Beings can live abundantly as one.