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Feb 14, 2012

 

In Defence of the Bleeding Hearts


Valentine’s Day-a day symbolized by hearts. You can’t walk through a mall without seeing hearts absolutely everywhere so I thought it would be a good day to share my thoughts about Bleeding Hearts.

In the past few months on several occasions people have sneered at me “Oh you’re just a Bleeding Heart” in a dismissive, derisive and derogatory way.


So I have given this much thought and my response is, “Yes, yes I am and I am damn proud of it.”


My heart does bleed
For animals that are abused
For children that are sexually assaulted before they even start kindergarden
For teenagers that are bullied to the point that suicide seems like a rational option
For the 25 000 people that will die of hunger TODAY
For the environment
For women who live in societies where honour killings go unpunished
For veterans who come home after serving their countries and are not given the resources they need to return to civilian life
My heart does bleed 

And each day in my own small ways I try to make the world a better place
 

In my opinion it is much better to have a Bleeding Heart than one that is stone cold.


But just because I am a Bleeding Heart that does not mean I am soft or naïve. It does not mean I have love for everyone or even that I can find forgiveness for everyone (I am far from being that enlightened).


While I do not believe in the death penalty I definitely believe in much harsher prison sentences for those who chose to commit violent crimes and I am unable to feel sympathy towards them at this stage in my life.


To me the qualities that most define a Bleeding Heart are compassion, empathy, integrity and kindness so I’ll take being called a Bleeding Heart as a compliment.


When people sneer about The Bleeding Hearts I have to wonder if they realize the contributions The Bleeding Hearts have made to the world.


It was Bleeding Hearts who would have rallied against slavery
It was Bleeding Hearts who would have worked for women to get the vote
It was Bleeding Hearts who created the Children’s Aid Society and the SPCA
It was Bleeding Hearts who believed EVERY child was entitled to an education
It was Bleeding Hearts who fought for safe work environments
Belong to a union? Well you can thank the Bleeding Hearts who came before you who fought for the benefits you enjoy today
And here in Canada, it was Bleeding Hearts who believed every citizen should have access to healthcare

When I think of people throughout history it seems to me that Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Jane Adams, The Dalai Lama and Albert Schweitzer may have been considered Bleeding Hearts. While I am sure Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Ruhollah Khomeini have never been accused of having a bleeding heart.


I know whose company I’d rather keep.


So to all of you Bleeding Hearts out there I send my love and best wishes and hope you have Happy Valentine’s Day.


Keep up the good work


Warm Wishes

Denise   

 

 

 

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Posted: Feb 14, 2012 10:08am
Nov 22, 2011

I want to crawl into a hole, or at least back to bed. I awoke this morning and again no water as the pipes from the well are frozen. This is day two.  I really want to soak in the tub.  I can’t lie I’m a little worried of what’s to come as this is only November and I hear Saskatchewan winters can be downright frigid.

The sky is blue and the sun is shining. Snow has blanketed the landscape but I am warm and cozy in the house we have rented for this next year.

We are out here, 3 people, 3 dogs, and 3 cats, a 12 minute drive from town with no vehicle until my husband gets his next break in 10 days. As a woman who chooses to live in rural Canada I have gotten pretty good at preparing my home for the inevitable unexpected but I must admit I’m a little worried and a little annoyed by the lack of water.

While we do have bottled water on hand for drinking, dishes still need to be washed, toilets need to be flushed and a shower would be so nice.

Yesterday in an effort to be proactive I took a bucket outside, filled it with snow and brought it in to melt on the stove so I could give the pets water that wasn’t from our bottled water supply. Once I got started though I melted more snow so the toilets could be flushed and even boiled some to wash the dishes and do some cleaning.  This chore took a little over an hour. This is just what they would have had to do in Little House on the Prairie, I mused. And the words of Ma Ingalls came to mind, “What cannot be cured must be endured.” and “What must be done is best done cheerfully.”

Today as I sit looking out on the Saskatchewan countryside I am still more than a little annoyed by the frozen pipes but I also know how very lucky I am-lucky for the bottled water, lucky for the snow, lucky for hydro to melt the snow, lucky to have options. I realize many people aren’t so lucky and I can’t help but do a search on the internet about water.

I stumble upon water.org.  I quickly learn that almost a billion people lack access to safe drinking water. I learn that every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. I learn that 1.2 billion people have absolutely no access to sanitation facilities. I learn that in just one day 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed collecting water.

And I learn that donating just $25 could provide water for life for one person.

I think about $25 and what that means. The last time the family went to Saskatoon we probably spent close to that on our lattes, coffees, and hot chocolates. We definitely spent more than that on our subs for lunch. I recently spent more than that on Christmas cards. And I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I spent more than that on the dog’s winter coat (she truly did need one in these parts)

The American Thanksgiving is coming up and once again I am reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for. If you are reading this than you have access to a computer and the internet and I will assume safe water. No matter what else is going on in your life right now when it comes to water you can consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Good or bad, fortunate or unfortunate, things often just come down to a matter of perspective.

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Posted: Nov 22, 2011 10:13am

 

 
 
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Denise L.
, 2, 2 children
Wolf Lake, Quebec, Canada
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