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Happy Canada Day

Canada is celebrating a special birthday this weekend. I was invited this week to be a ‘roaming storyteller’ who would tell my immigrant story to a group of new Canadian citizens after their special Canada 150 ceremony today (July 1). I received the invitation too late to participate, so I passed on the opportunity.

After I told one of my colleagues about the event, she said it would’ve been a great idea if I had gone to welcome the new citizens and tell them my story. She said welcoming people onto the land (Canada) is a tradition that is deeply rooted in her (Anishnaabe) culture. Although I have known her for years, I didn’t know she is part First Nations (or Indigenous), and I had never heard the name Anishnaabe before.

We discussed the holiday and the fact that not everyone in Canada is celebrating the 150th birthday, including many in the Indigenous community who feel they have been left out of the discourse. She proceeded to give me a brief lesson about her culture, and it was an interesting one.

She explained that one core aspect of Anishnaabe belief is the seven fires prophecy which foretold the coming of people from around the world. Each fire represents a pivotal point in the Anishnaabe quest for what is simply referred to as ‘the good life’, or a life of peace and harmony.

She was taught that Anishnaabe welcome all because during the time of the seventh fire Anishnaabe people’s role is to teach others how to live in harmony on this land together. If successful, the eighth and final fire will be lit, marking the beginning of the good life.

That’s a summary of our discussion, so blame me if all the facts don’t align when you begin your research. But, it was a very educational moment for me. It takes all of us to make Canada what it is, and what it will become. As we celebrate its 150th birthday, let us remember the innumerable contributions of Peoples from a diverse cultural mosaic, and appreciate our differences.

I am proud of my Jamaican heritage, and I am equally proud to be a Canadian citizen and call Canada my home. Every year, a few days before the July 1st holiday, I fly a Canadian flag on my vehicle, and stick others in my hanging flower baskets. This year is no different. If you look closely at the photo below you’ll see a Canadian flag in the hanging basket, alongside a Jamaican one. They are together for a reason – an appreciation of two cultures.

Enjoy your Canada Day Long Weekend, and let us never take this country for granted, despite its imperfections.

A Thank-Note…Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving_DaisyWrightI don’t usually send emails on weekends, but it’s Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, and as I was pondering on the things I am grateful for, I felt the urge to send a thank-you note to my clients and supporters. (This was sent to each client this past Saturday, and reproduced here on Canada’s Thanksgiving Day).

Dear _____,

You might be a client, a supporter, or someone who has been a source of referrals for my business, (yes, more than 70% of my business come from referrals). Regardless of which category fits you, on this Thanksgiving Weekend, I want you to know I am immensely grateful to you.

When you chose The Wright Career Solution for your career needs – whether it was for resumes, interview and job search coaching, or longer-term career coaching – you wouldn’t have known the rippling effects your investment would be having on people around the world.

For a long time I have supported various charitable causes, locally and internationally, but it didn’t occur to me that I was not doing it by myself. You have been a part of my team and have indirectly made a contribution to the organizations listed below. Some are recognizable brands; others are not well known. You might not know it, but I am a sucker for the ones less known.

Do me a small favour, and click on all the links included. It will give you a sense of some of the challenges some people face, what these organizations are trying to achieve, and have you look back in gratitude for your own circumstances:

Two-Day Cycling Event to Conquer Cancer: Benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five (5) cancer research hospitals in the world.

Shoppers Drug Mart OneWalk to Conquer Cancer: Also benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital.

United Achievers Club of Brampton: This organization has been around for more than 30 years in my city, and has been supporting students from the Black and Caribbean communities as they pursue university and college education. Recently, their work received honorary mention in the Ontario Provincial Parliament by MPP Harinder Mahli. Here’s the Youtube video: United Achievers’ Recognition.

Amanda Edwards: Her hope to become a doctor was dashed after an accident in the United States that left her paralyzed. Her story was highlighted in the Brampton Guardian.

Mahima Foundation:  My friend’s niece, Monique Gourzong, passed away a few years ago from breast cancer. Before she passed, she asked relatives and friends to arrange an annual concert to raise funds for Jamaica’s Hope Institute, the only Cancer Care Hospital in the Caribbean.

Camp Jumoke:  This organization provides opportunities for children living with Sickle Cell Disease to attend camp for two weeks each summer.

Help Princess Lila: Through Twitter, I was introduced to this little girl. I don’t know her or her family, but her story tugged at my heart.

The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada: One of my colleagues participated in the annual Exile Island Ottawa 2015 event for one day in an effort to grant special wishes to children with a life threatening disease or illness.

The Walnut Foundation: A local men’s health group whose initial focus was on Prostate Cancer, but has expanded to provide a safe environment in which men can seek out healthcare information and support. This one is near and dear to my heart, particularly because of my brother.

Donor Drive 4 Dorothy: Dorothy’s story was featured on Global News Toronto, as she searches desperately for a bone barrow donor. Global News.

Kiva: Since September 2010, I have been a part of this organization supporting women in developing countries to become self-sufficient. This is one of the easiest charities to support as it requires a minimum of $25 to start. Once the loan is paid off, one has the option to re-invest it in someone else. I am on my sixth project. Twenty-five dollars can certainly go a long way.

So, that’s why I am thankful to you ______. You have indirectly allowed me to pay it forward and support these organizations and causes. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, whether or not you are in Canada, and rest well knowing that I appreciate you very much!

To your success,

Daisy

There you go! My client appreciation letter sent on Thanksgiving!

Lest We Forget…Pilots of the Caribbean

Pilots_of_the_CaribbeanRemembrance_Poppy

 

Since 2010, I have been deviating from my job search and career topics to write a blog post on November 11, in remembrance of the many people who paid and continue to pay the ultimate price for the freedom we so often take for granted.

I am not from a military family, but I am sure if I dig deeper into my Jamaican ancestry, I might find a relative or two who were a part of the Royal Air Force (RAF) from the West Indies. And, if that’s not the case, at least my father-in-law is a retired Sgt. Major of the Jamaica Defence Force.

Today, November 11, 2014, I am paying tribute to the brave men and women from the West Indies (now referred to as the Caribbean), who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

This 14-minute video is worth watching.

Pilots of the Caribbean

Courtesy of the Jamaica Gleaner

Lest We Forget!

 

Trivia: Are We the First Generation…?

Are We Generation

Someone sent the accompanying text to me last week, and I decided to create an image out of it.

Of course, it has nothing to do with one’s career or job search, but who said every blog post has to be about the job search? Sometimes we do need to take a break from such an arduous task and ‘chillax’.  I personally found the sequencing fascinating! How about you?

Feel free to share as you please!