Simple actions. Astonishing results.

Leslie M. Miller, lieutenant in the Canadian Corps.

The padre stepped up to the lectern this past Sunday morning in Shedden, Ont. The audience at the community centre for the Remembrance service settled into silence. The clergyman unfolded his papers, that I thought would contain a prayer, a piece of scripture or perhaps the words of a hymn. But, no, he looked out at the assembly of cadets, veterans and the public in the audience and introduced his Nov. 11 thoughts this way.

“From simple actions, come astonishing results,” he said.

Making Remembrance Day instructive

Outside the Southwold community centre, the sign invites participants to the annual Remembrance week service.
Outside the Southwold community centre, the sign invites participants to the annual Remembrance week service.

Just before I delivered a Remembrance talk in the southwestern community of Shedden, Ont., last Sunday morning, I walked along the back wall of the Southwold Township Complex, where I was to speak. There were perhaps 500 people waiting for the township’s annual pre-Remembrance Day observance to begin.

And standing politely along that back wall, so that older citizens – principally veterans and their spouses – could have seats, were about 20 young army and air cadets. I made a point of introducing myself to them and learning who they were before I spoke.

“I’m 18 and in the Elgin Regiment,” one of them announced proudly.

“And why did you offer your part-time service?” I asked.

“I wanted to say something about my generation,” he said.

Psychology of time

WATCHFACEA few weeks ago, at Centennial College where I teach, we realized things were reaching a breaking point. Students faced a never-ending stream of deadlines. Faculty appeared completely stressed out. And everybody seemed at wit’s end. So, we invited in a campus counsellor to conduct a stress workshop. Eventually, she just asked straight out, “What seems to be the problem?”

“I can’t seem to get things done,” one student said. “There’s never enough time.”