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108 FEBRUARY 2008
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the field

Welcome back!

Ernie Hilton

I’ve really missed everybody!!! It’s strange, you know, how we make connections with people we have never met face to face. I have found that during the last month or so, without the CYC-Net in full force, there has been a noticeable void in my humble world. Routinely, I open my email and expect a half dozen or so messages from CYC-Net with some interesting bits of information perhaps even a controversial comment that gets us all in a tussle. Although I haven’t met many of you in person, I have formed this wonderful dependency on your availability, your insights and the challenges and support this social utility offers.

So welcome back everyone, it is nice to be connected again. Thanks again to Brian, Thom and all those associated with the administration and operations of CYC-Net making it possible for so many of us to share and learn through this international forum. I hope we would all agree that it can be the little things in life that we easily take for granted like the CYC-Net that are very special. The Internet 25 years ago would have been seen as a miracle concept, a foolish ideal, impossible to create; yet here we are.

What other little miracles do we take for granted? What are some of life’s day-to-day spectacular events occurring directly under our noses that we remain too rushed and hurried to notice them or pay them any mind? You know I have had the great misfortune/fortune to be with wonderful people while they live their last hours here on earth, physically anyway. Never, did any of them say to me, “Ernie, you need to work more”, or worry more, or sleep more, or be cranky more. Their words were far wiser than that, reflecting on the choice to care more, help others more, smile more, appreciate things more, laugh more, connect more, and learn more. Ernie, do things that regularly make you smile more often than the things that don’t – it is your choice. No victims here.

The timing is unfortunate for those who realize this brilliance of living only in their last hours. Someone once told me that you are old when your dreams turn to regrets and cynicism replaces understanding. It is unfortunate that the phenomenon of intentionally appreciating the world around us often requires a catastrophic event. At these times, I realize the frailty of existence but often that is not enough to create a shift in my thinking. Sometimes it needs to be very close to me personally before I step back and ask “What the heck am I doing here?” Did you know that Nostradamus predicted a world war would end the world in 2012? Actually, someone less famous predicted the end of the world in March 2008 – “Ahh...whatever”. How differently would we live our lives if we knew that our existence was weeks, days, or even just moments from ending? What would be our final words to the stranger sitting next to us on the importance of living and how to do it fully? I love this saying:

“Work as if you have no money. Love as if you have never been hurt. Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. And live everyday as if it were your last." – (Anonymous)

So this year, instead of just living so dependently on the CYC-Net’s nuggets of wisdom from its faithful faceless supporters why don’t we “DO” something about connecting in person? In October of 2008, unless the world comes to an end in March, Canada’s National Child and Youth Care Conference is in the province of Prince Edward Island on the Atlantic coast. It would be hallowed to have many of us come together for one of those evenings and connect with each other. Like it or not we are all connected so why not make it happen physically. We could laugh, and share stories in person, forge the already existing connections with a handshake and dare I suggest even a hug.

As I write you this little note it is -20 Celsius outside here in Nova Scotia Canada and that is without the wind-chill factored in. So after putting another log on the fire I am going to visit this site I hope you do too. Again welcome back everyone, don’t let your dreams turn to regrets in 2008!

See you in October!

The International Child and Youth Care Network

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