Philia - a dialogue on citizenship
advanced search
Home Events Calendar Resources Site Map Contact Us Version Francaise
About Philia Nourishing Ideas Good Conversation Inspiring Action


This page lists all the stories on the Philia website. Through this page you can access directly the stories that you would like to read.


Tim Lefens' Story
I was never a kind person. It wasn't in my nature. My paintings were being shown in New York, getting kudos from the critics. I was swaggering with my buddies through Manhattan and Italy. Total freedom. Total celebration....Total self-absorption. One day a friend asked if I'd show some slides of my artwork at a school for the severely disabled - people who couldn't walk or even talk. What the hell, I thought. Why not? I had no idea what I was getting into...


Leaving Deana - By Lynne Gordon-Mundel
Excerpted from her book, Shamanchild, Lynne Gordon-Mundel writes about her relationship with a First Nations woman that changed her life's path from one of compliance to one of compassion.


Being There
The night was warm and clear. She could taste the condensing dew, sweet and moist and refreshing after the hot sun. It was the first such night in almost a month. Not that Julia would have realized. She hadn't wanted out of the hospital in several months. For all she knew or likely cared, all days and nights since then were the same.

Beyond Reason - By Al Etmanski
Al Etmanski writes about his daughter Liz. She understands her limitations and adjusts with patience and eagerness. She negotiates the complexities and inequities of her world with more ingenuity, courage, and equanimity than she should have to. She offers, for all those willing to listen, a course in perfecting a life.

David Means Beloved - By Sandra Shields. Photos by David Campion
One side of David's brain never developed. It just isn't there. But explaining her brothers in terms of what he can't do misses too much, writes Sandra Shields. You can forget what is there: motion, sound and life.

This poem was written by Trevor, a young man with cerebral palsy who can't speak and doesn't walk well, who began at 12 years old to visit the local baker.

He's Lucky to Have You - By Ted Kuntz
"He's lucky to have you," said the man sitting in the chair at the end of the row. He'd been watching my son for the last few minutes as Josh navigated his way around the corner of the receptionist's desk to observe what she was doing there. I was busy looking in my wallet for my credit card to pay for the chiropractic session my son had just received.

Rebecca's Presentation to the UN 
When Rebecca and her circle think of citizenship, they think of the Zulu word "Ubuntu". Loosely translated, "ubuntu" means "my humanity is inextricably bound up in your humanity", or the idea that we are different so that we can know our need for one another...

Return of the Imperfect Son
Years ago, Iona Kelly clipped a piece out of Readers' Digest about being the mother of an "imperfect" son. It is now rumpled and yellow, having been hauled out of her scrapbook dozens of times as Mother's Days marched by in their parade of roses and chocolates and inscribed coffee mugs.

Sheila Bujold
Sheila Bujold had a simple dream: to live in her own place, by her own rules. She did that for a year - a glorious year of independent living - before succumbing to a stroke and a cancerous brain tumour on January 5 at the age of 35.


A Conversation That Deeply Moved Me - By Rob Ohlstrom
For the first time in the conversation, and perhaps in my life, I looked straight at my brother, who was rocking back and forth with a gigantic crooked smile on his face, and truly thought about what he said to me. I pondered what it meant, and wondered where it came from.

Beyond Silence - By Sandra Shields
The art of wordless conversation
An accident robbed Denise Aman of the ability to move or speak, but her eyes and a breathy laugh communicate volumes. With one hell of a stare, she enrolls others in private language lessons.

The Building That Fought BackBy Joyce Young
Peace circles have been used by cultures around the  world since ancient times. From the Maori of New Zealand to Canadian  aboriginal peoples, the circle process has been used to build community,  make decisions and heal wrongoing. This is the story of a group of people in  a Toronto housing project who used the circle to make a difference...


Binding Ourselves Together in Caring -  By Sandra Shields
She was the first neighbour we met when we moved into the run-down apartment building in the middle of Vancouver. David found her clearing weeds along the fence, an older woman with wild red hair who talked in a rush and wore sexy clothes...

Common Sense - By Al Etmanski
...I have learned an important lesson. The struggle for acceptance, for inclusion, for accessibility and for participation by people with disabilities in our society doesn't stop there. People with disabilities have a duty as citizens, like the rest of us, to contribute to the common good - to respond to the challenges we face as a society.

The Healing Web - By Vickie Cammack
In a time of unparalleled opportunity to communicate with each other we find ourselves living in a time of relational poverty. While we don't think twice about hopping on planes or driving long distances to visit friends in faraway places, we frequently cannot put a face or name to our neighbours.


What Do Trees Have to do With Peace?
Thirty years ago, in the country of Kenya, 90% of the forest had been chopped down. Without trees to hold the topsoil in place, the land became like a desert. When the women and girls would go in search of firewood in order to prepare the meals, they would have to spend hours and hours looking for what few branches remained. A woman named Wangari watched all of this happening. She decided that there must be a way to take better care of the land and take better care of the women and girls. So she planted a tree. And then she planted another...


Ellen's Story
"I never had one of those...You know, with everyone throwing candies to you and wishing you Mazel Tov and everything." The words were spoken by Ellen, a woman who lives at L'Arche Daybreak. She was referring to never having had a Bat Mitzvah, the Jewish coming of age ceremony. This is the story of Ellen's remarkable journey into Jewish adulthood and leadership and of its impact on both the L'Arche Daybreak community and her synagogue.


A Higher Calling - By Doug Ward. Photos by Ian Smith
Ben is a fearless scuba diver, marathon swimmer and photographer. Most days Ben can be found climbing a towering 50 metre Douglas Fir to feed the eagles on Hornby Island. Doug Ward captures Ben Kramer's fierce and wondrous energy.

Stories and Healing - By Judith A. Snow, MA
Many groups of people who are marginalized today have a history of their people that gives an explanation of present day reality. For example, African-Americans and African-Canadians have stories that tell how their ancestors were enslaved and brought to North America. Stories tell how some were guided by maps encoded into songs as they traveled the "underground railroad" and escaped to freedom.

What Do Trees Have To Do With Peace? 
Thirty years ago, in the country of Kenya, 90% of the forest had been chopped down. Without trees to hold the topsoil in place, the land became like a desert. When the women and girls would go in search of firewood in order to prepare the meals, they would have to spend hours and hours looking for what few branches remained. A woman named Wangari watched all of this happening. She decided that there must be a way to take better care of the land and take better care of the women and girls. So she planted a tree. And then she planted another...


Requiem for My Brother
Marion Botsford Fraser was one of four finalists for the 2007 British Columbia Award for Canadian NonFiction. Her book, Requiem for My Brother, is a tribute to her brother Dave, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1992. In this poignant memoir the author describes her brother's illness and death, their deepening relationship after years spent apart, and the enduring bond they forged on an epic canoe trip down the Coppermine River...

Ivan Illich: Personal Recollections - By Sam Sullivan
Ivan Illich sought me out, sat down beside me and started to inquire about my life. For the next three days I shadowed him, amazed at how familiar I could be with this legend...


Needs and Good Intentions - By Sam Sullivan
"...The plane sped up enough to gain control and we arched up into the sky. Below I could see my empty wheelchair on the grass airfield growing smaller and smaller." SAM SULLIVAN writes on the need of communities to become aware that everyone regardless of their disability has important contributions to make.


A Menu for Building True Sport Communities (PDF, 220kb)
Good ideas are often the simplest ideas. And sometimes the best ideas are conceived in simple, informal surroundings rather than boardrooms, classrooms, or conference centres offering power point presentations, stale air and uncomfortable chairs. So it was that representatives from sport, community, political and advocacy groups gathered in Vancouver for the True Sport-Philia Dialogue on building True Sport Communities, featuring the True Sport Café...


My Daughter Hannah - By Kim Pemberton, August 2001
Sadly, there is just a handful of people who see the Hannah I know. It seems most people don't have the time to look past the disability and see the bright, loving five-year-old spirit that is Hannah.

The Gift of Time - by Vickie Cammack
Attuning ourselves to mystery, to resonance, to inspiration requires that we surrender to another kind of timing, the timing of Kairos. Kairos is nature's time. It is the realm of time that informs the right action at the right moment.

Topography - By Sarah Townsend, Ph.D
...When I was working, I never thought about those of us who are limited. Like most people, I never really thought about limitations until I got some. I now have my very own limitations to keep me humble and slow. So now I have time for the mountains. They keep me company...

Date Author Subject Add Your Comment
Nov 20, 2021 by juan
May 06, 2021 by patlj you and the eagles
May 04, 2021 by Carol Crocker Ben Kramer
Apr 26, 2021 by Nikki Schmitt "The Healing Web"
Apr 24, 2021 by Wilkinson/Brooks family
Apr 19, 2021 by Lyle Lexier Benn Kramer's Obituary
Apr 07, 2021 by patriciahf Benn
Apr 07, 2021 by Cynthia McEwan
Apr 06, 2021 by SouthernGal Ben Kramer
Apr 06, 2021 by MartyJo
Feb 28, 2021 by Michele Anciaux Aoki "A Conversation that Deeply Moved Me"
Feb 28, 2021 by Josie "A Conversation that Deeply Moved Me" by Ron Ohlstrom
Feb 24, 2021 by Avril Re: Ability to forward
Feb 23, 2021 by Daniel MCdonald add ability to forward
Oct 29, 2021 by pgj Ben
What's New
This page lists all the most recent additions to this website with direct links to those pages.
Philia eZine
Click on the head to subscribe to @philia, our monthly ezine. You can also view current and archived issues here.
print this page
back to top