Let’s Talk ~ The Morning After

I support this initiative to shine a light and to generate funds that are for: “Fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.”

Five years ago, I was literally brought to my knees by events in my life that escalated my Depression and Anxiety to a level beyond my ability to cope. How humbling for someone who has always considered herself and been considered “the strong one”.

I have never spoken about this at any length to anyone other than my best friend, who’s intervention saved my life.  In fact, for the first two years, I did everything to hide my struggle but it’s time for any and all mental health challenges to come out of the closet.

This year, I had the courage of my convictions and my diagnosis, adding the Bell “Let’s Talk” frame to my profile photo on Social Media. I meant what I said. I will listen. How disappointing then, to see the number of short-sighted and erroneous comments made by many people, “Scam” being among the most prevalent. Let’s start with this:

  • Scam 
    skam/
    noun informal
    1.
    a dishonest scheme; a fraud.
    “an insurance scam”
    synonyms:
    fraud, swindle, fraudulent scheme, racket, trick; More 
     
    verb
    1.
    swindle.
    “a guy that scams the elderly out of their savings”
    synonyms:
    swindle, cheat, deceive, trick, dupe, hoodwink, double-cross, gull

Now, here is a link to the results of this initiative:

Clearly; not a scam by any stretch of a narrow mind. See the entire initiative at this website:

Someone needs to explain to me the hostility and spreading of misinformation that this particular campaign engendered. There are many fundraisers out there that benefit the sponsor as much and sometimes more than the cause. The annual CHEO, Heart & Stroke and Dream Of A Lifetime are some that are better known. Why the backlash against Bell? Is it because their marketing team scored big with harnessing the power of social media and is highly visible? Shouldn’t that be the point – especially for the historical stigma that is attached to Mental Illness?

Social Media works. In generation “Click and Care”, to which the vast majority of us belong; this is a brilliant strategy. At the end of the day, 31 January 2018, more people became aware, more funds were donated and yes, Bell may even have scored a handful of new customers. Tell me how this could possibly be a bad thing.

To the linear thinkers who were so eager to jump on an idealist bandwagon – do your research before making such blinkered comments. This campaign is far larger than Ma Bell and if you can’t see that, you need to reexamine your compassion. To the folks out there who say “why doesn’t Bell just donate a large sum of money…” you missed the point. For those individuals with a large audience of people who are inclined to agree because they think a “popular” person must be right, you missed an opportunity.

Let’s talk.
~ kei
1 February 2018
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Of Culture, Kilts and Korma

This might be controversial, certainly it’s a hot-button topic. I am one of those people who feels a wrongness, a divisiveness in the rampant calls of “Cultural Misappropriation”.

I am not asking to be schooled for my feelings. I have seen the outrage against public figures and I’ve read the articles about people who “just don’t get it”. Intellectually, I can see some areas of concern but in my heart and in my widely varied gene pool, I’m having a hard time with the vociferous protests. More to the point of my post title, I feel like all the gains made by the ideals of love, inclusiveness and caring for my fellow humans – a set of values that had its renaissance and greatest resonance in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s – is being lost.

Again, I’m not asking to be educated. I have a degree or two, I don’t live in a cave. This is what all the outcry makes me feel.

The diversity of my family background, my friends, associates and colleagues; has given me a wealth of cultural experiences. There have been discussions, get-togethers, shopping, suppers and all of these things have deepened my understanding of customs and things that are not my own.

A few quick points; starting with the most recent backlash against a public figure (can’t recall the name – sorry) who was seen wearing “dreadlocks”. I know that as a fashion, this hairstyle is most commonly associated with a particular group. I also know that if I don’t put my hair into braids at night, it will twist itself into very long dreads by the next day. The notion that early man, forebear to all of us, shared a similar hair style, isn’t much of a stretch is it?

There are certain cultural icons that have been marketed to the world outside by the identifiable group itself. To turn around now and be angry just doesn’t make sense to me. So many people have begun a journey of learning and understanding with one small token, one small idea.

In the most simplistic of explanations, the outcry of “cultural misappropriation” feels like a kid who gets mad and grabbing their bucket, stomps away from sandbox.

I’ll continue to read and listen. I see nothing wrong in continuing to talk about ways to respect other people, culture and customs but I stand by my belief that making ourselves insular is taking a huge step backward for all of us hanging out here on planet earth.

~ kei
14 June 2017

Yes, You

Circle back
Drawing nearer
Ever closer
So it seems

I’d sell my soul
If I could only
Make this more
Than just my dreams

~ kei
10 September 2016

As the weeks go by I’m finding that even the most casual viewing stirs that old something in my deepest core. Some fires can only be banked; never fully extinguished.