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Kindness on the Island, Truth Be Told, and Undying Love

Good Morning from the Fair Isle in the Sea, 

Put the kettle, glasses and music player on, it’s Saturdaaaaay! 

Weatherwise, not a bad day here on the Island today, temperature, as I write, is -7 C / 20F. I hope you are safe and warm wherever you are. 

Island Happy Stories

Happy/Sad story on the Island this week. After receiving a plea from someone in need, the kind staff and management of the Atlantic Superstore in Summerside responded. Every Saturday, they offer lunch to people in need.

"Whether it be that they're hungry or whether it be that they're lonely, and they just want to come in and have a bite to eat, then we want to do that," said store manager Pam Smallman.

Read More the story Here. Thank you, CBC. 

Just another reason, I love Prince Edward Island. 

Since the first of the year, I have been writing about my goal of reading 20 books in 2020. Happy to say, I completed two more books this week, five down so far. 

Last week, we ran a contest offering to send the winner, Book Clubs at the Big House, The Story of Book Clubs for Inmates by Isobel W. Heathcote. Kathy Imbruno from Massachusetts is the winner. 

Book 4 / 20

Man’s Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl. My second time reading.

We visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in 2018 and it blows my mind; the evil perpetuated through the warped mind of a tiny man with a tiny mustache and no conscience. To read the stories of what happened in the concentration camps and to read Mr. Frankl’s observations can be difficult. As a psychiatrist, his conclusions led to his psychotherapy called logotherapy. Our will to meaning, not our will to pleasure, (Freud) or our will to power (Adler) is what illuminates our lives with true freedom. 

He came up with the existential vacuum theory. It is when someone cannot find or create meaning in life; it leads to feelings of emptiness, alienation, futility, and aimlessness. Most existentialists consider meaninglessness to be the quintessential symptom or ailment of the modern age.

Three favourite quotes from the book today are: 

“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

“In some ways, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment; it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Book 5 / 20

Truth Be Told, by Beverly McLachlin

It is her autobiography about her meteoric rise through the courts, which soon found her serving on the highest court in the country, becoming the first woman to be named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

There were many heartwarming stories, heart-breaking stories, and triumphant stories overcoming many, many challenges. I really enjoyed this book.

As a citizen, it was helpful to learn more about how the social fabric of our nation is formed.  As a constitutional democracy, it rests on three branches of governance.  Legislative (Elected), Executive (The Monarchy/Governor-General) and Judicial (Supreme Court). 

Ms. McLachlin is an excellent writer. (admiration & envy speaking here) What a life she has had. Having been raised in a log cabin with no plumbing, being educated at home long distance through the mail to becoming Canada’s Chief Justice! 

While reading this book, I counted 17 words, I had not seen or heard before. Sharing this perhaps shows my ignorance, but in any event, I am not only impressed by Ms. McLachlin's outlook on life but also her command of the English language. Let me know how many of these words on the list you know the meaning of. 

Ignominy / Ribald / Taciturn / Raconteur / Timorously / Obstreperous / Amalgams  / Soto Voce / Ramanets / Fusty / Salutary / Redolent / Sobriquet / Amicus Curiae / Interregnum / Imminence / Concatenation

There were many quotes in this book, but my three favourites today are: 

"My parents didn't preach the modern message of inclusion, but they lived it. They treated each person as a human being, worthy of dignity. There was room for anyone and everyone at their table. They taught me-not by what they said, but by the way they lived their lives - that it was wrong to exclude people because they were different." ~ Beverly McLachlin

"Along the way, I absorbed an important truth about life-perfection was unattainable I developed a revised set of self-directives: Accept imperfection. Embrace risk. Have the courage to fail and the strength to pick yourself up and start over. Do your best and move on." ~ Beverly McLachlin 

"I had learned my first lesson in judging: listen. If you think you know the answer, you probably don't. If you think you are the smartest person in the room, you're probably in the wrong room. Listening will help you get the right answer. And even if you don't get that far, listening in itself is an important part of the trial process." ~ Beverly McLachlin

On to book 6 / 20. 

Measure What Matters, How Google, Bono and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKR’s, by Jonh Doerr 

This week I am loving this! 

If you appreciate 20th-century history, it is a fantastic free view of our past. Take a peek at complete issues of Life Magazine. 

This morning, I have been listening to something a little different for me, but I have been enjoying it all week — excellent mindless background music to work with.

So Flows the Current by Patrick O'Hearn. Take a sample listen

I enjoyed watching this video this week as well. I hope you do as well. 

We wish you and yours a wonderful weekend. 

With love from Prince Edward Island! 


Bruce & Millie


Woman: Do you love me?

Man: Yes, dear.

Woman: Would you die for me?

Man: No... mine is an undying love.

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Jean Staben - February 28, 2020

I cannot express my awe of the video. Having been to NASA and to have seen the size the the rockets, the gear the astronauts wear and to have seen Command Center etc, gave me a new appreciation of the life of an astronaut. It is amazing.

Thank you for the video.

Professor Earl Hulihan - February 13, 2020

Bruce, your life is a testament to Frankle’s observation… ‘ that there … is something more’. Viktor affected my life into a life of social responsiveness. (Interesting that he became a Lutheran years l blogs keep us close to you. Thank You

Becky Mitchell - February 12, 2020

On this dull winter day…you brought me sunshine.

althea - February 8, 2020

Possibly my most favourite blog from you, Bruce. Thank heavens for people such as Pam Smallman; for Justice McLachlin’s title; and a most appropriate time (75th anniv. of the Holocaust) to reread Frankl….Lest we forget. And how I wish we still had something such as the once-fabled Life Magazine. Now, to go look up the meaning of ‘Ramanets’. Delightful blog on a delightful, sunny, February day. Thank you.

Diane Voge - February 8, 2020

Thanks, Bruce. Title correction… I just downloaded Truth Be Told by Justice MacLachlin. If it is as good as the beginning, our entire book club will read it during Women’s History Month.

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