Ethics Lost

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ethics and morality that exist in our world today, or not.

We’ve been through Bill Clinton having oral sex in the White House, the Jean Chretien’s Liberal Adscam, Stephen Harper’s Conservativea circumventing the election rules, Martha Stewart’s inside trading, the head of Canada Post forced to retire because of outrageous expense reports, Brian Mulroney making deals with criminal people while in office, Worldcom’s accounting fiasco and the resulting aftermath, and so on and so on.

And now the Toronto Catholic School Board trustees, living high off the hog while they operate the school board on a deficit. Expenses such as car allowances, cell phones they’re allowed to keep, Dominican Republic vacations, extravagant dinners, and gold plated benefits. Even lingerie was expenses – now how does that relate to education?

Recently, Ryerson University wanted to expel a student who put together a study group on Facebook to solve an engineering problem they were supposed to work on individually. The school called it cheating. HELLO!?!?

Why are we surprised when we catch our children cheating or even wandering into grey areas? They see the news, they know what’s happening. It’s become the business style du jour. Grab what you can before they kick you out – if they catch you!

Call me naive, but I expect more from our government than having them act like pigs at the trough. I expect more from major corporations than having them think up more creative ways to screw us. And I really expect more from a group that puts a religious name on themselves. They’re greedy, selfish, pigs, marauding as pious Christians, which makes me sick.

I’m more sympathetic in situations where someone steals (call it what it is) because they are in financial need, but these are people who are already rich – looking to get richer. The people who end up paying are the poor and the working class.

How long are we going to take it? The only way to approach this situation is to start charging people AND SENDING THEM TO JAIL!! At least our children will then realize that it’s wrong. We need to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. Let’s throw out the corrupt politicians, and charge them for their misdeeds, or at least for breach of public trust. The laws were created for all of us, but authorities seem to leave the rich alone while they harass the rest of us.

Have we become such a complacent society that we will just keep taking this? The one thing I really hate about getting older and wiser is that I don’t like what I’m learning – what I’m seeing and hearing. I’m becoming disillusioned.

Am I the only one that feels this way?

What is Toastmasters?

Amazing how quickly a month goes by. I should at least set up a day of the week on which to post.

It was pointed out to me (thanks Paul!) that I never really explained what Toastmasters is.

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization currently has 226,000 members in 11,500 clubs in 92 countries. Some well-known Toastmasters include Peter Coors of Coors Brewing Company, Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, Tom Peters, management expert and author, and Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii.

Toastmasters has been helping individuals develop communication and leadership skills since 1924. Toastmasters is for anyone over the age of 18 and members come from all walks of life. One thing they have in common is a strong desire for self–improvement and helping others. We learn best by doing. Each Toastmaster Club is a learning laboratory where you’ll enjoy experimenting, discovering and developing your potential.

Simcoe Shores Toastmasters meet on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesdays of each month at Belhaven Hall on Warden Avenue (just north of Old Homestead) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Guests are always welcome to join us at our meetings.

Effective July 1st, I’ll be taking on the role of President for the club. I’m a little overwhelmed, but shall endeavour to do my best, which after all, is the best any of us can do. I’m also trying to keep in mind that this is a learning opportunity. My first role in Toastmasters was Secretary/Treasurer, then I was VP Public Relations last year, and now I’ll be President. With each step, I feel my confidence growing and I know I will learn a lot from this experience.

Wish me luck!

What if…

Toastmasters changes lives. I heard this phrase quite a bit when I first joined Toastmasters, but I have to admit… I didn’t believe it. Oh sure, it was something worthwhile doing, sort of an educational/social/volunteering kind of thing, but changing lives?? A stretch… or so I thought.

Then I attended the Toastmasters District 60 Conference held a few weeks ago at the Sheraton Conference Centre on Hwy. 7 and Leslie. This was a last minute decision for me, as I tend to avoid large crowds, especially conference-wise. I worry that someone will try to talk to me and I’ll be forced to chit-chat and I’m not good at that. I’ll either babble on about myself, create a social faux-pas, or make a fool out of myself somehow. So, I attended the conference reluctantly, but that’s getting off-track. I listened to some of the most inspiring, insightful speeches, and heard people talking about what they have achieved in life as a result of what they learned in Toastmasters. By the end of the conference, I’d come to the realization that… wait for it!!! TOASTMASTERS CHANGES LIVES! Will it change mine? I don’t know or expect that, but what if?

And, as the current VP Public Relations, I would be remiss if I didn’t get this plug in…

Simcoe Shores Toastmasters, of Georgina Ontario, meets on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesdays of each month at the Belhaven Hall, on Warden Avenue, just north of Old Homestead, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. We welcome guests and you owe it to yourself to come and see what Toastmasters is all about. And ask yourself… What if?

Simcoe Shores Toastmasters website