Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Lasha Morningstar

Stand up for your physician's conscience

Lasha Morningstar
March 7, 2016

We depend on them. We usually only turn to them in times of trouble. Too often, we don't say "Thank you." These are the men and women who serve as physicians. To become a doctor takes time, study, a sound working ethical philosophy, compassion and hard, slogging work. Canada is blessed with medicare (thank you Tommy Douglas). Certainly there are glitches. Mistakes are made. But the foundation is there.

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Mother Earth offers a garden to be cultivated

Lasha Morningstar
February 22, 2016

Oh, oh. My eyes could hardly believe it. This year's seeds are here. To me, like so many others, it is like showing a hungry bear a beehive laden with honey. So much promise. Images of heavy heirloom tomatoes, green acorn squash, pollen-laden buzzing bees spring to mind. There is also the eminently practical side too. The tumbling loonie, roller coaster stock market, rampaging storms and drought from climate change are sending fresh produce's prices sky high.

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Starvation of Syrians demands that the world swing into action

Lasha Morningstar
January 25, 2016

Journalists, seasoned reporters, are horrified by what they are seeing in Madaya, Syria. Children are so decimated by malnutrition they are walking skeletons. Doctors Without Borders says 23 patients have died of starvation at its Madaya health centre since December. Television reports show valiant physicians, weary and hungry themselves, pleading with the powers-that-be for food, water, medical supplies, blankets and other humanitarian needs.

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Two chances every year to take responsibility for your life

Lasha Morningstar
January 11, 2016

We have two New Years. The first of course is the New Year celebration on Jan. 1. The second is the day after our birthday. These are the days when we traditionally make resolutions - vows almost always are targeted at changing some habit or pastime that twigs our conscience. About four or five weeks later, our resolve melts like a dripping spring icicle and we break that resolution. So we add guilt to our shame. Stomp on the brakes. Why do we set ourselves up to fail?

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Gratitude is spark that ignites joy

Lasha Morningstar
December 21, 2015

Joy. A little three-letter word. But this forgotten emotion packs a heck of a wallop. So often we blank out joy from our life. No wonder, given the fact we are bombarded with negative stories each and every day. It is so easy to develop that Eeyore mindset - always gloomy, waiting for the other shoe to drop. A wise receptionist shared this story with me. A dinner guest was regaling fellow diners with tales about what he would do if he won the lottery.

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Canadians defy counsels of hate with actions that foster hope

Lasha Morningstar
December 7, 2015

The words are grim. "France is at war," said the country's President Francois Hollande. That declaration is also understandable. Terrorists had just slaughtered 130 people. People sitting in a café. People gathered in celebration at a restaurant. People at a concert. People on the street. People the cowardly murderers did not know. Innocents. No words can describe such a massacre.

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Co-op living holds promise for seniors

Lasha Morningstar
November 23, 2015

Brisk. The bite of winter pushes homelessness to the forefront of many people's lives. Flyers appear in the mailbox urging people to upgrade their insulation. My 112-year-old home creaks and groans. Winter wind pokes his fingers through hidden holes and chills feet and paws.

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Political intrigues threaten Pope Francis’ work

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November 9, 2015

Pope Francis is affectionately called the People’s Pope by both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Stories abound of how, as a parish priest, he lived an austere life. This is a shepherd who guides his flock while walking in the shoes of Every Man, Every Woman, Every Child. He walks into the villa miseria, Argentina’s notorious slums, to see his lost sheep. Francis went there because that is where his people are. Yet the danger is so great with hardened criminals and drug lords living there, even the police give the threatening shanties a pass.

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Advent gives space to prepare for the blessed birth

Lasha Morningstar
November 9, 2015

Advent always startles me. That time already? It forces me to realize another year is almost over. It also asks me, “So what did you accomplish this year?” Gulp. Not as much as I wanted. Not as much as I planned. Truth be told, this was a year when those rose-coloured glasses I wear were ripped off my face. Reality hit me like a bucket of ice water. Loss demands one grieve. Grief is hard. A quote turns up just at the right time. “God knows who belongs in your life and who doesn’t. Trust and let go. Whoever is meant to be there, will still be there.”

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Precious wisdom pours into an open heart, open mind

Lasha Morningstar
October 26, 2015

This is one of the most precious times of the year for me. It is All Souls Night, the night when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is said to be at its thinnest. I pray joyously, revelling in the promised closeness. It is also the time when I can write down the names of my departed relatives and friends who have died in the book at the basilica. This gentle act of providing the book and promised prayers soothes my soul.

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