Bits and Bites on 2016

Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

01 January 2016

Our 2016 mission aboard Mother Earth

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-SinclairFor years I have made a point of staying home on New Year’s Eve so I can sit back, relax, review the past year and take a few resolutions for the upcoming year. I have decided to include everyone as I go forward with this year’s resolutions.

I am very aware that the desire for peace is universal so my first prayer is borrowed from St. Francis of Assisi: “God make me an instrument of your peace.” This year, I will practice thinking peace. This past year has been a difficult year worldwide and a disappointing one. In February 2015, my article had mentioned that many astrologists had concluded “that the processes that had been unfolding and spreading chaos for the past few years were finally starting to stabilize… Mankind once again had high hopes for the future.” Instead, the conflicts intensified in many countries, not just in Syria and Iraq but also in Ukraine, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan… to name a few. These wars have displaced millions of refugees, killed and maimed thousands and there seems to be no resolution in sight.

To top this list, there were terrorist attacks in countries such as France, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Turkey, Egypt, Cairo and California. Here in Canada, two uniformed soldiers were killed by homegrown terrorists.

In order not to get depressed over all of this, one needs to create harmony by incorporating in their everyday routine “abstention from harming others, not just in actual acts of harm but also in thoughts of jealousy, judgement and injury in any fashion” as Patanjili, the great Indian sage advised centuries ago.

Image: Photo of Pope Francis with quote beginning, 'Peace is a precious gift ...'In one of his many messages, Pope Francis reminds us that “Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected. Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake.” St. Francis of Assisi, the pope’s namesake wrote, “For it is in giving that we receive.” We need to become peacemakers starting with little gestures that count. Recently, while I waited at the Orléans Imaging Unit for a scheduled mammogram, I watched a lady who was desperately trying to button up the right-arm sleeve of her blouse after some blood work. People in the waiting-room watched as she tried in vain to secure her shirt-sleeve button. I quietly got up and did it for her. She so appreciated the gesture that it made me feel good for the rest of the day.

Another thing, I will practice is “saying good-bye — with unconditional love — to anyone who pollutes my life space with slowed down energy.” I will strive to keep my energy field uncontaminated. Hate is certainly a source of pollution in life. It dissolves happiness and robs you of instantaneous moments of bliss. I will strive to meet everyday challenges with courage and hope. I will climb every mountain along my way and try to do it with grace.

I am immensely proud of being Canadian, proud of the way we are accepting of Syrian and other refugees. Phil Jenkins of The Ottawa Citizen compares Canada to the ark, and very appropriately so, as he recalls all the different waves of immigrants and refugees throughout Canadian history! I will try to do my share to help by setting aside and offering items I no longer need but that are still very useful. I am also very proud of our new Liberal government. It was time to do away with the atmosphere of secrecy, mistrust and fear-mongering that had prevailed in the past years and open up the doors to fresh talent and experienced ministers capable of raising the standards of efficiency and communication and re-enforcing or even rebuilding Canada’s reputation abroad.

And now, for our beloved but troubled Planet Earth. It too has suffered immensely in 2015. Droughts, floods, landslides, pollution, crop failure, to name a few. Finally, at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris nations succeeded in agreeing on universal participation to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. Targets will be set, assessment mechanisms will be put in place and financial assistance offered for developing countries. We now have a Liberal government that is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working with the provinces towards a greener, more efficient and ambitious climate agenda. Catherine McKenna, our new Environment and Climate Change minister did a fantastic job as a facilitator during the final negotiations in Paris. I trust she will continue to be a major player in this department, here and abroad.

Now for my share! I promise to continue to compost, recycle and re-use whenever possible and to conserve energy. I will continue to organize all my errands into a one-day trip. I have promised my grandchildren there will be another fine garden next year and Logan and Nathan have promised to help out. As a result, their family will continue to benefit from the fresh garden vegetables, as will some of my neighbours and friends.

I now invite you to do your share in ways that suit you and I leave with a dear friend’s New Year message:

Faith makes all things possible.

Hope makes all things work.

Love makes all things beautiful.

Blessings to all! May this new year be a better one for all!



Quel beau message en cette nouvelle annee.Merci pour tes sages conseils.


Alléluia Alberte!  Magnificent! I too follow that route proudly. We are soul sisters!!

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