Mother Earth Who Births Us

Ina has always said that the most important thing she ever did was raise children.

We were all once children. We each grew through unique circumstances which formed our opinions & created who we are today.

We live & have grown in a consumerist society. How has that formed our view of the world & what might it’s outcome be to the next seven generations of our children & grandchildren?

Corporations were created, in our consumer society, to allow individuals to act with limited liability while creating wealth in monetary terms. This shield has led to significant consequences. Corporations were given significant rights, similar to a human being. However, those corporations are run by individuals who are not always held responsible for their collective actions in pursuit of a single bottom line for their shareholders. How does a triple bottom line culture come into being & is it important to our grandchildren?

In the book ‘Child Honouring: How to turn this world around’, Raffi Cavoukian, Sharna Olfman, Editors, there is a article by Joel Bakan entitled ‘Kids & the Corporation’: “Corporations are required, by law, to make decisions & take actions, including ones that may destroy nature & exploit people, solely on the basis of what is in their(and their shareholder’s) best interests. From this pathologically self-serving vantage point, children are either invisible – their unique vulnerabilities ignored (unless strategic concerns, such as public relations or potential legal liabilities, make it necessary to consider them, or at least pretend to) – or exploitable, as potential consumers or cheap workers. Despite the Corporation’s dangerous character we as a society are giving it greater powers & freedoms.”

The fellow who has published the above book & pursued child honouring internationally, lives here in the Salish Sea & has recently spoken at a local TedX symposium. It might be worth taking the next 15 minutes to listen to Raffi:

If there was anything that you heard on Raffi’s video about child honouring, that made you want to learn more, go to:

There is that original child within each of us that sprang from Mother Earth through our parents. The spiritual light that emanates our physical being is still there, although possibly dimmed by the concerns of everyday issues.

How is it possible to get that light to shine bright each & every day?

Practice love, particularly for our children & Mother Nature.


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Farewell to Togo

Farewell to Togo

Greetings from the choppy seas of the Atlantic – off the shores of Africa!

This past Friday at approximately 10:30 am our anchor was raised as we set sail for dry dock in the Canary Islands. Staying on-board for the sail has been interesting, difficult and fun all at the same time.
The past two weeks have been filled with one good-bye after another. Some are for just a few months – others potentially forever. Three times a week at 7:00 pm, the ship practically emptied as friends hugged, cried and even wept. As the cars loaded with luggage and volunteers made their way through the port gates, the remaining crew formed two lines through which the cars would drive. We cheered and waved the occupants a final ‘good-bye’, then turned to enter the ship once again…our numbers ever smaller. If only we could have harnessed the emotional energy expended during this time…I am sure we could have powered the ship on to our new destination!
Most exciting of all, was the successful completion of the OR sterilizing course by all four of the West African sterilizers. Mark, Holali, George and Frank all did amazingly well, with results from 81-96%.  Our graduation was fun and was attended by 23 OR staff.

Our time was full before the sail. We had to wait until the last of the patients was discharged before we could complete the pack up of our department. Everything in the OR must be padded, wrapped and tied down for the sail. Then the entire department is inspected by the First Officer to ensure it will stay put as the ship rolls. Loading and securing the ship is a huge job for the deckies and technical crew. Every car has to be driven onto a harness and then lifted by an on-board crane onto the ship and secured. All decorations come down from the walls and are stored. All books on the library shelves are turned sideways to prevent the contents from unloading onto the floor. All ship shop products are loaded into boxes on the store floor. All kitchen equipment must be safely secured…and so on…and so on. There are a million ways that sticky tack is used to hold items in place!
In looking back over our time in Lomé, we have accomplished an amazing number of operations for those in need.  794 eye surgeries; 34 cleft lip and/or palate repairs; 281 facial reconstructions (including tumours); 72 releases of limb contractures due to burns; 933 general surgeries (including hernia repairs; tumours and goiters) and 49 VVF surgeries (female fistulae).  With a minimum of one tray per surgery (some take up to 5) these numbers add up to at least 2163 trays to be cleaned, disinfected, assembled and sterilized…not to mention separate instruments.  No wonder the sterilizing team is tired!
Alongside this work were: 9,688 Dental procedures; 14 palliative care patients who received support; hundreds of physiotherapy patients treated; individuals trained in agricultural practices; renovations of community clinics and much more. We have been a busy group!

Two days before we left Lomé there was some significant civil unrest throughout the city.  This resulted in our shore leave being cancelled for 17 hours.  For those of us who were counting on that one last good-bye, this was serious trouble.  We felt as if the jail cell door had clanged shut!  We prowled the decks and rooms like tigers shut in the zoo.  Our angst was raised by the fact that we were soon to leave for a ten day sea voyage –without any stops.  Fortunately, the riots were short lived, and we were allowed ashore for twelve hours during our last day in Togo. The relief was palpable.

We had many sailing and security briefings before we sailed, and received a supply of sea sickness pills at the end of the last one. The night before we left, we had an unexpected surprise with an ‘abandon ship’ alarm sounding at 3:00 am. I jumped from my bed, slipped on my shoes grabbed my ID and opened my cabin door. There stood a crew member who was a room checker during alarms. He looked at me and declared he thought the alarm was for real, and suggested I make my way to the stairs- which I did. At the end of the hall I met the Russian technical crew, who informed me that they had just received notice that the signal was a false alarm. They blushed and smiled at me in my pajamas. I hurried back to bed!

Leaving Togo was a heart-warming experience. The crew of the nearby ships stopped their loading/unloading work to wave us good-bye. One sailor held a large sign and stood at the end of his ship waving enthusiastically. Unfortunately, we could not read the lettering – even with binoculars. We had fun spending time wondering what the sign had actually said… “Good riddance”… “Look out for Pirates” …”I never did put the fuel in your tank” …etc., etc.

Most OR crew are re-assigned to another department such as housekeeping, galley or dining room. I am trying to re-write our department’s manual which is long over-due for an over haul. Too bad that computer work is one activity that can initiate sea sickness. So far I have only had one bout of it. The pills do make one very sleepy, so I will try to cut back or I will never get my assignment finished.
George and Frank have been assigned to the stores department and are busy hauling boxes around the ship. They will have a brand new set of muscles before too long!

I am so grateful to each of you who have so generously supported my volunteer work on the Africa Mercy, as well as that of George and Frank. Your generosity has touched the lives of thousands of patients and their families, and has changed their lives forever. Know the difference you have made in Sierra Leone, and Togo West Africa

With gratitude,


If you would be interested and able to support Jane’s efforts, you may donate to Jane McIntosh’s Mercy Ship account# 2888 or you can call Mercy Ships at 1-866-900-7447 or mail a cheque to: Mercy Ships Canada Unit 5- 1318 Oak St., Victoria BC V8X 1R1. All donations are tax deductable. Just specify that the donation is for Jane’s account #2888.




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The Hero Journey Mentorship

I was thinking about mentorship this morning & ran across the following
video. It talks about our path & the passing of our torch, our passion. Have
we discovered that passion, do we know who we might mentor?

With no further ado, take the next 20 minutes & half way through the video
you will understand the journey that you are on a little better.

Take heart, next week we will explore how important we really are within
the Universe.


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Can Compassion be Fun and Is it Enough?

There are three words in the above sentence that have great significance standing alone: Compassion, Fun, & Enough.


When I was at University over 40 years ago, I read:

‘Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered’ E.F. Schumacher

Following is a portion of an Amazon book review about this book:

“When I was a student at Brigham Young University in the early 80’s, I was introduced by my macroeconomics professor to what many economists of the time considered to be the ‘great heresy of economic theory’. – a copy of Small is Beautiful. He warned me that quoting it in research papers would be most unwise, as the BYU economics department was, and continues to be, a strong proponent of the current economic orthodoxy of infinite economic growth and prosperity that dominates economics even today. He finished by saying that ‘Schumacher was a radical, no doubt about it. However, he will also turn out to be right in the end’. Truer words were never spoken. The central theme of his work, that infinite economic growth is impossible within a finite system, and the inevitable consequences of ignoring this simple truth have been fully vindicated.”

This week I picked up a book, ‘The End of Growth’, by the Canadian Economist, Jeff Rubin, written in 2012. Here is how he ends the book: “Recalibrating expectations for our future lifestyles is a place to start. In a static economy, we’ll have less income growth, which will translate into us owning less stuff. Rather than fighting to retain our current degree of consumption, perhaps we can learn to appreciate fewer things, but we’ll also have more time to enjoy our lives. Does anyone really like the rat race? Maybe we all need to slow down & take a minute to breathe.

We can still shape the future we want, but only if we are willing to relinquish the past we have known. As the boundaries of a finite world continue to close in on us, our challenge is to learn that making do with less is better than always wanting more.”

So what did I do in the 43 intervening years between reading those two books? I travelled around the world looking for more.

What did I find? Something missing!

This morning I ran across the following video. It’s worth 12 minutes.

Now I live on an island & chop wood for free. Why?

Service, Compassion, Fun?


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