Gerry Turcotte

Gerry Turcotte

Gerry Turcotte is the president at St. Mary's University in Calgary.

When I was growing up it was popular to mock a film made in the 1950s to prepare children to survive a nuclear war. Older folks will remember this odd cross between animated and live action footage featuring a bow-tied Bert the Turtle who could “duck and cover” at the sign of danger.

It wasn’t so long ago that many of us were using the COVID-19 virus to argue that our world was more interconnected than we care to admit. Divisions are commonplace and people move through their lives erecting barriers between the haves and have-nots, between the East and the West, between the good and the bad.

I have been plagued by cats almost my entire adult life. (OK, maybe I like them just a little.) Dogs, I feel I understand. They’re reasonably straightforward. You know when they’re happy, when they’re guilty of chewing your favourite shoe and when they’re sulking.

I had promised myself that I wouldn’t write a COVID-19 column.

In June we celebrate St. Vitus’ Day, a time that honours an unusual saint whose influence was seen throughout Europe generally and in Germany in particular.

As I was driving to work this week, I saw a sign outside a neighbourhood church. It read: “Prayer is the original wireless form of communication.”

A good friend of mine, a fellow scotch aficionado, sent me a story which is an adaptation of a well-known leadership story, popularized by Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This new year my resolution was to be less punctual. Why? Because punctuality has always been both my obsession and my curse. 

It truly does seem, at times, as though the news of the world is relentlessly despairing. 

I was admiring a friend’s potted plant recently when she noted that I had just missed the flowering. “I forgot to water it,” she noted, “and it just bloomed.” 

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