woman with short hair and big smile, wearing flowered shirt and black jacket

a time i didn’t speak up – and should have

One example that stays with me was regarding the Canadian teenager Omar Khadr, who was at worst, a child soldier in Afghanistan. He was detained and tortured in Guantanamo Bay for 13 years and finally plead guilty for murdering an American soldier. He was ultimately moved to a Canadian prison to finish out his prison sentence.

Throughout this time, I was very troubled by what I believe were multiple human rights violations, crimes against humanity and abuse of power regarding this boy and then young man. Canada failed this boy. I failed this boy.

I am someone who has acted many times. Interrupted and intervened to assert my sense of compassion, justice and fair play. And yet I carry regret for when I didn’t. Perhaps more plausible is not paying attention to what is most important. Not career, not my burgeoning waistline, or binge watching The United States of Tara, not my failing partnership, but paying attention to those moments that represent the thin edge of the wedge for what will compromise humanity. Paying attention to the vibration in the well of my being that is persistent and unfaltering. The vibration of the cells of goodness, love and righteousness.

So how do I avoid regret?

I effort to practice paying attention to the right things. Staying tuned in, be wholehearted, and go slow enough to notice a moment that may undermine our collective humanity. I need to continue to surround myself with people who stimulate my humanity and spirit. I need to practice using my voice. All things come through practice.

– Lynn, Nova Scotian, stepparent, grandparent, cabinetmaker, connector, big hearted, playful, interrupter