Thursday, 23 July 2015

Important Lessons at the Movies

Like many other people, I have caught on to the excitement of the new movie Inside Out. I am glad that the movie has gained so much attention. Not only is it funny with a great story line, but I think the concept is brilliant. The movie mainly focuses on the emotions of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who has just moved.

One of the things I liked best about the movie is the relationship between the characters Joy and Sadness. Joy always wants Riley to be happy and tries to keep Sadness at bay, but Sadness has an important role to play. In one scene, Joy and Sadness are on a journey through Riley’s mind with Bing Bong, Riley’s childhood imaginary friend. When Bing Bong is sad that Riley doesn’t talk to him anymore, it's Sadness who empathizes with him and helps him to feel better. The conflict between Joy and Sadness is important to the resolution of the movie.

This message is important because it mirrors life. Like Joy in the movie, it can be tempting for us to try to deny our sadness and want to be happy all the time. Sadness can tell us important information about those who were important that we have lost or what is or isn't working out. It's normal to feel sad and it is healthy to grieve the losses in our lives. In fact, ignoring sad feelings can make them worse. In the movie, Riley had to got through a period of sadness because of the loss of her old house and friends. Going through the sadness helped Riley to feel better again. 

This seems like such a simple lesson, but it took me a long time to learn it. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Welcome Guests! by Sarah Evans

What if you were invited to go somewhere? It would be nice, right? You might even be an honoured guest. But, what if you knew that the people who invited you were not looking forward to the big event? You might even find out that they have been complaining about it.

I feel like this is how Toronto has been acting toward the Pan Am games. Instead of building up excitement for this world class event and the athletes that would be coming, we seemed to only be complaining. All I have been hearing on the radio about the Pan Am games for the past month or more is cost overruns, security and the infamous HOV lanes. I think that is what I am going to remember about these games more than anything else. 

Now we have taken to complaining about how much we are complaining.

Today is a new day though. Tonight is the opening ceremony, so it is my hope that we will put the complaints behind us and enjoy the next two weeks of the Pan Am games instead of continuously complaining about something happening regardless.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Food for Thought: Self-Disclosure as a Boundary by Sarah Evans

How much information do you share with others? What boundaries do you set around self-disclosure? A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about boundaries. There are many kinds of boundaries that get crossed,  especially when you have a disability. Nevertheless, we must be aware of what is appropriate and inappropriate and not be afraid to set boundaries for others; physical or otherwise.

To me, self-disclosure is about what you tell about yourself to whom. Sometimes it can be difficult to know who's safe to tell what to. Sometimes people tell too much information about themselves, such as their finances and their personal life, to people they don't really know that well (maybe acquaintances or people they meet and are talking to in a store).

Personally, sometimes I'm too trusting of people and I just want to be friendly. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a hard and fast rule about keeping yourself safe. I think that we gain wisdom by just going out there and having experiences and dealing with people. This is one of the reasons why it is important that we all, including people with disabilities, are part of our communities and have social opportunities. Loneliness and isolation sometimes makes us vulnerable. Even though it is sometimes difficult to get out and about, we need to look for opportunities to be around others; if for no other reason, to help us gain street smarts.