Are we Ready to Make a Change?

In the face of another black male being killed at the hands of police, we all must challenge ourselves as to why this has become a norm that society has accepted. For something so horrific to happen this frequently speaks to how our communities view black males. Although this conversation is uncomfortable, we all must question why we are closing our eyes and hearts to a segment of our population. Although we love seeing black males in sports, why do we avoid seeing them in other environments? And what impact is this having?

The role of the police is vital, as their slogan is to serve and protect all citizens.  Unfortunately, the power of stereotyping has aided in the demise of black males who find themselves victims whose voices consistently go unheard. Stereotyping is believing unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same. The stereotyping of the black male population has gone too far and has justified the brutal treatment and devaluation of these lives. How long will we aid these harsh and untrue generalizations of black males that endanger their lives, families and communities annually?  

Stereotypes are a very impactful way for us to use words. As leaders, we truly need to understand that when things are said repetitively, they become reality. Therefore, as leaders, we must be very cautious of how we use our words and what we support or challenge. We can all change how others think and operate within the world.  When we care about each other, we can do so much. On that note, use your words to breathe life into the world; if we are going to change this horrible narrative, we need everyone to be intentional in changing how we interact and support the lives of black males everywhere.

B.C. boy who lost Canucks stick on flight home gifted new stick, signed jersey

A Vancouver Canucks hockey stick and signed jersey from captain Bo Horvat has made its way to a Nanaimo, B.C., boy following an intense series of ups and downs.

Linden Erwin was at a Canucks game in Edmonton on Dec. 23 when he received a special gift from Horvat.

The young Canucks fan was hoping to get a hockey card signed, but ended up being gifted a stick from the team’s captain.

Linden was thrilled until he realized he had to place the stick with checked luggage on his flight home from Alberta to B.C.

During the flight with Flair Airlines, the stick got lost in transit.

After Linden’s mom, Janelle Staite, made an appeal to the Canucks to help track the stick down, Horvat decided to go one step further and promised to give the Nanaimo family a new stick.

Several weeks after the stick went missing, Flair Airlines told CTV News it had found the misplaced hockey stick and promised to send it to Linden as well.

While the rediscovery of the stick would’ve been a happy enough ending on its own, former Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean arrived at Linden’s home in Nanaimo on Tuesday with the team’s mascot, Fin, and gave the family the new stick and jersey.

“It’s a great feeling. There was a big smile on his face when we rolled up,” McLean said in a video posted to the Canucks Twitter account on Wednesday.

“I mean, that’s what we do, that’s what we’re here for,” he said. “The community is huge for the Vancouver Canucks and whatever we can do to make people happy and to fix things once in a while is super important and we love doing it.”

In the video, Linden says he’s going to hang the new jersey and stick in his room.

“The Canucks room,” his brother, Marshall, clarified.

“Yeah, the Canucks room now,” said Linden.

By Adam Chan CTV News Vancouver

Leader of the Month: Ontario Boy’s Hot Chocolate Stand Raises More than $6K for SickKids

For over a month 10-year-old Cohen Lane stood outside in the frigid temperatures, braving wind and rain to sell hot chocolate and raise money for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

The results are sweet.

On Tuesday, Cohen is going to present SickKids with a cheque for $6,130.90—a far cry from his original goal of raising $350 over the holiday season.

“I’m happy,” he said in a phone call to CTV News Toronto from his home in Whitby, Ont.

Cohen came up with the idea for the fundraiser on his own, his mother said. He designed the stand, which featured not just hot chocolate but various toppings and alternative tea options, as well as a QR code so that those without cash could still make donations.

He even set up a seating area where people could enjoy their beverage every Saturday and Sunday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Neighbours helped set up canopies when the weather turned sour, and classmates took turns manning a pop-up station at Cohen’s school—helping raise $500 in the process.

“We brought the entire setup into the school, and then every class came down and donated,” Cohen’s mother Karina Oliveira said.

Cohen said he plans on doing the fundraiser again next year, adding that it is his dream to open up a little café in which “all the profits will still go to SickKids, no matter what.”

Cohen’s cousin was taken to SickKids Hospital when he was three months old after experiencing a Trachael collapse. Ever since, his family has had a strong connection to the facility and its staff.

“We’ve had other family members who’ve had to go to SickKids, like actually recently last month, my young cousin, he also had to go in,” Oliveira told CTV News Toronto in November when the campaign first launched.

“Cohen’s just really always loved SickKids … it’s just such a great hospital.”

Cohen will be receiving a certificate of recognition for his fundraising on Tuesday. He will also be going to city hall at the end of the month to get yet another certificate for his good works.

“I try to be the best person I can,” Cohen said.

By: Katherine DeClerq CTV News Toronto 

Bringing out the Best Leader in you

Responsibility is a rare quality in people these days, making it a precious characteristic one can possess. What exactly is responsibility? “The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.” There is also “the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.” In other words, it is having the ability for someone to be responsible or accountable for something within their control. As mentioned earlier, this is an important quality that seems to be disappearing, and we need to start revitalizing this energy. Many of us live as if our words and actions do not have any impact or implications, whether positive or negative. At flightunit, we want to change this mentality as we believe that; “responsibility brings opportunity”- Christoff Kyere.

Taking responsibility for something positive is much easier than something negative. We, as humans, want to be recognized for creating a positive impact on the world, as it makes us feel valued and good about ourselves. Conversely, we usually distance ourselves from the harmful effects we make as it brings forward shame and feelings of guilt. We believe you should take accountability for your actions, even if it brings out these uncomfortable emotions. Taking responsibility and holding ourselves accountable is the quickest and most effective way to be on the right side of change. We grow from our mistakes, and people respect us more for not hiding from the consequences of our actions. Taking accountability is taking one giant step forward to becoming a better leader and a person that you will be able to admire!

Giving is the gift that keeps Giving

The holidays are all about coming together and spending time with friends and family. Reflecting and
appreciating the year that is about to come to an end. However this time of year in Canada also brings
treacherous weather at times, something the folks of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada quickly learnt.
Over 50 people were forced to stay overnight at a local Walmart as weather and road conditions
became dangerous.
Some of these people lived around the corner, some were from Ohio, but none of them were allowed to
leave due to the poor conditions outdoors. The employees pulled games from the shelves and even
made warm dinners with help from the deli team. One employee even had a surprise birthday
celebration for them when the clock struck 12. Thankfully the ordeal wasn’t too bad of an experience for
those that had to go through it.

By: Sunny Dhaliwal

Unlock the Power of Leadership in your life

Every day we wake up, we are very fortunate & blessed to have the presence of choices; our abundance of options allows us to empower our hearts and minds to improve our thoughts, experiences, and outcomes. It is said that life is a sum of our decisions. Therefore, we need to be leaders to acquire a high-level thought process to enjoy life better. Life is not easy and to possess the skills necessary to turn lemons into lemonade is astonishing and attainable. That said, we all need to have a leadership mindset if we want to do this consistently.

To possess a leadership mindset, we first must embrace the concept that working hard is a benefit, not a hindrance to life’s joys. There’s a parable in the Bible that speaks to this and reflects how we operate as a society; the parable says, “the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.” Unfortunately, too many people are looking for the easy way out or quick money. Simply put, the farmer’s mentality is one of a great leader; to put this into greater context, put a farmer anywhere, they will not only survive but thrive.

When a farmer is planting seeds, they know that they must do a good job, or when it comes to harvest time, they are the ones that will suffer. To add, farmers also know that everything happens in seasons and that nothing happens before its time. Farmers understand the importance of the role of patience in relation to their success.

One of the major benefits of being a farmer is that farmers tend to live the longest and healthiest lives. For example, one of my grandfathers, a farmer, lived to be 110 years old. Beyond that, he was very strong and healthy throughout his life.   

We can all learn from the life of a farmer if our goal is to become a champion. Farmers consistently give it their all and understand the importance of detail and being battle-tested. Through experience, farmers adjust to whatever comes their way, as each season brings different challenges and results. Furthermore, farmers don’t live lavish lifestyles but still have a high quality of life. So, to bring out the leader in you, be sure to think and act like a farmer.   

By Christoff Kyere

3 Questions that you need to ask yourself to make 2023 an Incredible Year!!

With the new year upon us, it is an excellent time for personal reflection to ensure that we are intentionally moving in a direction that will bring out the best within ourselves. On that note, we have put together three essential questions you should ask yourself and concentrate on to make 2023 an immensely special and enjoyable year.

  1. What is One habit that you need to get rid of from 2022?

We all have behaviours that limit our growth, happiness and success. For instance, being addicted to your cell phone, having poor eating habits late to constantly blaming others, these habits give us short-term happiness but long-term losses. Furthermore, the meaning of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results. On the other hand, when we make positive changes, we create momentum in our lives; for example, people who work out tend to have healthier diets than those that don’t. So, give yourself that kickstart to attract better things to you in 2023.

  • What & how are you going to spread more LOVE towards?

Love is a potent energy with healing capabilities; I guess this could be 1 of the reason they say God is love. When we spread love, we create more positive light around ourselves. Or, as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. If you are trying to establish the right unit around yourself, start by leading with love. There are many things that need our love, from self-love, the environment or to our human race. There are several people that we unknowingly encounter that are severely hurting; don’t take the power of your touch lightly. In deciding I would like to give you One tip, choose something that will bring out more gratitude within you.

  •  What are two things that you would like to manifest for yourself this year?

Although we live in the now, we are forward-thinking creatures. Today’s thoughts create tomorrow’s conversations and experiences. We are all the farmers of our lives; start 2023 by planting the right seeds for yourself, and don’t forget to water them constantly. To manifest something significant requires a steady flow of healthy and enriching thoughts; this is important to get the universe on our side and help to unleash an incredible zest for life to transform our lives.   

Be sure to write down your answers and put the answers by your bed to read every day when you wake up and before you go to bed. Remember, practice makes perfect!

By Christoff Kyere

Local barber turns community hero

Buffalo, New York got hit with a ton of snow as did many places in southern Ontario and the northern United States. One local barber in Buffalo, Craig Elston, is a local hero in his community after the incredible snowstorm that hit the area. Craig, a local barber, opened his shop to the community to let in as many people as possible so they were not trapped in the deadly storm.

Over 30 people were in his shop to escape the harsh conditions outside where an estimated 50 people have died from the winter storm. He fed those in the shop whatever he had. Hot pockets, noodles, and Vienna sausages. He also provided them with sweaters and warm socks to keep them warm, and provided entertainment like cards and even played the Buffalo Bills-Chicago Bears game on tv. It was a difficult time for Craig to stay up for multiple days to ensure friction between people was at a low but he felt it was the right thing to do in order to keep everyone together. His incredible leadership allowed the team to work together as an effective unit, potentially saving the lives of dozens of people.

By: Sunny Dhaliwal

Viktoria Modesta: Fighting the Stigma Against Disabilities and Prosthetics

The world is becoming ever more connected and accepting of people of different backgrounds, sex, race, sexual orientation and more. One group of people that seem to be left behind or still have a stigma against them for being “different” is those living with disabilities. To a certain extent, these people are still seen as different and not a part of society, as if their disability makes them less. We have seen this attitude, and thankfully it has begun to change in the past few decades. One pop star, Viktoria Modesta, wants to continue to push the discourse around people with disabilities.

Viktoria has a prosthetic leg that she got once her leg was amputated in 2007. She now uses her highly stylish prosthetics on stage and in her music videos to make prosthetics and other disabilities art, embracing her “difference.” Her goal is to make prosthetics less “de-medicalized” and pushing others with prosthetics to be more comfortable. Samsung also went for a similar idea with their Galaxy Buds Live, which was made to look like a hearing aid to help drop the stigma some may face when they wear such devices.

By Sunny Dhaliwal

Are you Making a Difference?

Besties JoAnn MacQueen and Marlisa Mercer won a million dollars playing the lottery. They immediately decided to keep the good vibes rolling by giving heaps and heaps of it away to the community. Identifying several causes and charities in their hometown of Orillia, in the Canadian province of Ontario, to give fat checks to, local news reports is making a huge difference.

First, MacQueen describes the moment she scanned her ticket at the Lotto Max machine at her neighbourhood Shoppers Drug Mart. There was no ring-a-ding-ding. Indeed there were no sounds at all. The screen simply read $1,000,000,00 and a free play. She recalls being stunned and began to shake; “it was pretty cool,” she remembers.

They donated varying amounts to places that MacQueen’s brother, who died recently due to alcoholism, might have accessed during his life, which included Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, the Orillia SPCA, and the Farley Foundation. This Ontario-based charity helps low-income pet owners take care of their animals.

They also donated to the Salvation Army, the Royal Canadian Legion poppy campaign in Orillia, Mariposa House Hospice, the Comfie Cat Shelter, and the Sharing Place Food Center, which helps the economically disadvantaged get access to nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. “They are completely focused on how can they help to make this community a better place through this win,” Chris Peacock, executive director of the Sharing Place, told local news. “Not many people win a million bucks and have the core goal of spending it on others and improving this community.”

For the Comfie Cat Shelter, the $10,000 check they received was the fifth-highest donation in this no-kill shelter’s history. “It covers our vet bill for October, and it gives us money for more spay and neuters,” said shelter manager and founder Barb MacLeod, who described it as “fantastic” and bringing her to tears.

Orillia Matters reports that the pair plan to split the remainder among their family and friends and take care of some renovations.

By: Andy Corbley

Feather #1: Me, Myself, and I

We are seldom aware of the power of our own presence. The presence of a single person can alter conversations and drastically change the overall mood. It is important to understand what type of influence we currently have and want to have on others.

Me, Myself, and I is the foundation principle of our “Feather” system. We have chosen this as our first Feather to emphasize the importance of self, self-awareness, and self-development. We believe that in order to advance in life, one must commit to their personal growth. Our daily choices dictate the boundaries of our growth – they can be our road to success or our path to failure. Discovering who we are is no simple task, but when we do, we unlock the keys to our success.

Questions for Reflection:
1) What motivates me?

2) What are my thoughts and beliefs?
a) Am I confident in them?

3) Who do I surround myself with?
a) What impact are they having on me?
b) What do we have in common?

4) Where do my thoughts take me when my mind wanders?
a) Are these thoughts positive and allow me to grow or are they negative and are harmful?

5) What are the major influences on my decision-making process? (e.g. personal success, public opinion, time commitments, ego, media, etc.)
a) Does how I spend my time reflect this?
b) How do these influences enrich me as a person?

Bonus Questions:
This Feather is so important for growth and success, we have provided bonus questions that will allow for a thorough self-examination.

6) Am I honest with myself and others?
a) Can others be brutally honest with me?

7) Am I aware of my mistakes?
a) Am I learning from them?

8) Which has a greater impact on my decisions, fear or courage?

9) Am I able to forgive others?
a) Am I able to forgive myself for my thoughts and actions?
b) Can I face conflict with the goal of reaching a resolution and learning from it?

10) What do I want people to say about me when I am not around them?

Benefits of Feather #1:
There’s an English writer named John Brown who said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Everything begins and ends with us. The choice to be phenomenal or to live a disappointing life lies within our hands. We are creatures of habit – it is crucial that we develop the right habits and a growth mindset for success. With the right mindset we can become unstoppable!

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Allocate time to reflect everyday
2) Do not limit yourself

Feather #2: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health

Our physical, mental, and spiritual health play a significant role in shaping our ability to live life to the fullest. Although we are complex creatures, we are a single mind, body, and soul, and therefore everything we do impacts every aspect of our well-being. It is important to have balance to ensure that we are creating greater opportunities for growth, health, and happiness.

Questions for Reflection:
1) How physically active am I?

2) Do I take the time to learn what I am putting into my body?

3) Do I have faith in a higher power?
a) If so, how am I developing and strengthening my faith?

4) Am I aware of what causes me stress?
a) What do I do to de-stress?

5) Do I have a support system?
a) If so, who is a member of my support system?

Benefits of Feather #2:
When we acknowledge the different aspects of ourselves, we enhance our ability to live enriched lives. Other benefits of being balanced include increased self-confidence, energy levels, and happiness.

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Clarify what mind, body, and soul mean to you
2) Surround yourself with people that align with your definition of mind, body, and soul

Feather #3: My World

Our greatest life experiences are usually made by the people that we are with or the challenges that we face. Every day, we have the ability to be better people and to expand our view of the world. What we focus on is what we see. This is why all of our worlds are uniquely different. The people that we interact with can give our lives greater perspective, and the challenges that we conquer can give our lives greater meaning.

Questions for Reflection:
1) Am I making my world a better place? If so, in what way(s)?
a) If not, what should I do differently?

2) What elements make up my world (e.g. social media, music, people, culture, religion, etc.)?
a) How does each element impact my reality?

3) Are the things and people that I devote my time to helping me grow into a better person?

4) What does my ideal world look like?

5) What things do I care most about (e.g. house, people, school, environment, countries, justice, electronic devices, etc.)?
a) Do my actions and interests reflect what I care most about?

Benefits of Feather #3:
Many times in life we miss exciting opportunities and experiences because we have created too small of a world for ourselves to live in. When we expand our world, we create new opportunities and chances for greater levels of growth and gratification.

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Take on the responsibility of making your world a better place
2) Be open-minded to new ideas so that you can expand your world

Feather #4: Passion and Purpose

Passion can take a long time to discover but it is worth the pursuit. Passion is one of life’s greatest compasses. It is the driving force behind our purpose in life and has the ability to light up our soul. Passion pushes us and sparks creativity, excitement, ingenuity, and problem-solving. Passion takes on different forms and can be found in many areas of life including relationships, health, dreams, aspirations, interests, and hobbies.

Questions for Reflection:
1) What does passion mean to me?

2) What things am I most passionate about?
a) How do I show that passion?

3) Do my decisions take me out or keep me in my comfort zone?
a) Are my decisions spontaneous or planned?

4) Am I doing enough exploring to discover new passion(s)?

5) Is my passion making me happy?

Benefits of Feather #4:
When we understand what we are passionate about, we can reach greater levels of achievement. Passion gives us the strength to make the impossible possible.

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Explore and discover new areas of interests and passion
2) Work to overcome your fears in order to expand your comfort zone

Feather #5: Enlightenment

The human brain is one of the most spectacular things within the universe. When this 3 pound object is on, it has the ‘power to move mountains’ and change the world. When we open our minds to learn our ability to grow as people is limitless. When we embrace a growth mindset it permits us, and those around us to have greater capacity to achieve or as Nelson Mandela put it, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”.

1) Do I allow myself to step outside my comfort zone and try new things?

2) Am I surrounding myself with new ideas and interests/concepts?

3) Am I allowing stereotypes to define who I am? My interests?

4) On a daily basis, am I training myself for success or failure?

5) Do I have the courage to partake in conversations on new topics with my friends and/or new people?
a) In what ways might my conversations be limited?

Benefits of Feather #5:
The power of our minds is remarkable, the mind is responsible for our navigational & our breathing systems and so much more. Many leading medical journals (including the National Institute on Aging) have touched on the numerous benefits of learning and mental stimulation including renewing us and starving off diseases such Alzheimer and dementia. There are several ways to stimulate our mind such as; engaging conversation, playing a challenging game, learning to play a new instrument or learning to speak a new language, etc. These acts provide us with immeasurable returns on our lives. Below we have provided a diagram of the circle of healthy living.

The Circle of Healthy Living

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month

Tips for success:
1)Keep your mind sharp by learning something new each day

2)Constantly challenge yourself