January 23, 2017

“Look at all these thousands of people,” I said to Iole as we stood among the crowds of men and women and children in Queen’s Park  last Saturday. “They’re all here because they believe in something.” I’m not sure how much she grasped of what I said to her as we walked from home to Queen’s park and down Univeristy Avenue, but the fact that she was there, the fact that we were there together, meant a lot to me, and I hope one day to her. “This was the coffee shop I came to in a nightie and ballerina flats while I waited for labour to kick in,” I told her as we stood in line for the loo at Tim Horton’s. And here you are, all grown up, and marching with your Mama down University Avenue. That standing up for what you believe in can look as positive and peaceful and unified as Saturday’s March, is just the sort of message we want for our children. “We’re doing it,” Gloria Steinem said in Washington. “Pressing send does not allow us to empathize with other people. … If you hold a baby you’re flooded with empathy. If you see somebody in an accident you want to help them. I love books, but [empathy] doesn’t happen from a book. It doesn’t happen from a screen. It only happens when we’re together.”



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