Bits and Bites of Everyday Life


When you hurt someone, you harm yourself first!

True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

I was immersed in the subject of intimidation and bullying as Le génie de Jessie was first introduced at the Salon du livre de Lefaivre this weekend. My granddaughter, who participated in writing the story with five of her classmates, came along on Saturday and truly enjoyed her first experience as a young writer. Little did I know that very weekend, we would learn of another teen committing suicide after suffering many instances of intimidation.
I cried when I read the article in the Citizen. “Why do people say mean things to me?” was one of Jamie’s questions. A lovable and talented teenager who wanted to make the world a better place to live in, Jamie struggled with depression. The cruel jeers and sarcastic remarks, the name-calling at school and online gradually weakened his frail self-image. Although Jamie was receiving care at CHEO and with counsellors, life just got too painful and unbearable.
How do you break the vicious circle? In many social groups, the focus is not on the positive but on the negative, not on solutions but rather on the problems, not on the similarities but rather on differences. And sometimes we obsess so much on the negative that we can no longer see the positive around us! Anxiety sets in! This premise that we must suffer, archaic as it is, still prevails. It instills fear and hopelessness in many hearts.
The magical word is to “Believe” we can succeed even if at one point we seem to be failing. We can rise again if we have fallen. In order to achieve this when you are a child, a teenager or young adult, you need mentors and ... at one point, they often come from elsewhere. In Le génie de Jessie, Jessie finds a magical lamp and the genie grants her two wishes. In real life, the genie is a mentor ... someone you can trust, someone you can look up to. This person has the power to lift you up so you can see more clearly who you are and realize that your misery is temporary. As the thunderstorm blows over, the crisis will end eventually and you will go your own way. You have your whole life ahead of you!
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer quotes T.S. Eliot as he evokes natural cycles in his poem, “Ash-Wednesday”:
“Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And for only one place
I rejoice that things are as they are…”
Learning to trust in our ability to respond positively to difficult circumstances in our life is of the essence, but it needs to become a natural response.
There will always be people who will try to steal your power from you, for whatever reason, YOU have to recognize THEM for what they are and continue on your path. And THEY need to see they are only harming themselves in the long run. They will one day be recognized for what they are “bullies”.
We, as a society, must ensure that bullying is not accepted anywhere or in any circumstance.


Bravo Alberte,

Depuis 1984, je répète à qui veut l'entendre que nos jeunes ont besoin de "bonnes nouvelles". Ils n'ont pas les assises pour faire la part des choses et impuissants devant les événements qui les assaillent, ils baissent les bras.

Je n'oublierai jamais cette classe qui m'a dessillé les yeux. Je demandais à un groupe de jeunes de me nommer les problèmes et les difficultés de la vie. Facile ! Je mettais des nuages au tableau avec ce qu'ils me disaient : guerre, drogue, vol, pornographie, taxage, meurtre, viol etc. Puis, voulant ajouter des rayons de soleil sur la planète, je leur ai demandé de me dire ce qu'ils trouvaient bon et beau. SILENCE ! Ils ne trouvaient pas !

Soyons solidaires ! Enseignons leur à voir la VIE avec confiance ! Parlons-leur de compassion, donnons leur des héros (héroïnes) du quotidien, rions avec eux...

Puis-je suggérer mon livre "Tête froide", des nouvelles pour les adolescent.e.s de 12 à 18 ans ? Je crois qu'ils y trouveront des histoires pour les inspirer.

Lysette Brochu


Tu as raison, Lysette! Apprenons aux jeunes à trouver le beau et le bon au quotidien. Rions avec eux, rêvons avec eux, pleurons avec eux! Construisons des ponts! La vie en vaut la peine, crions-le sur tous les toits!


Merci pour ta suggestion de lecture pour adolescents et adolescentes!

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