Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Something to Sing About

8 solutions for a better world

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack


yrtle Macdonald has compliled a list of eight things that she wants all of us to consider.


1. Learning the skills of doing surveys and descriptive studies that identify more and more variables and discover interrelationships (Anthropological and Sociological) I reject Psychological because it tries to prove things before enough variables are considered. 


This way of looking at all our work and relationships helps prevent hasty words and decisions and helps keep an open mind, humility and courage.

2. Do something to reduce the salary increments given for service, experience and education. The Unions have made themselves ineffective by causing/allowing steep increases. As a result it is too expensive to hire the best qualified. Mediocrity of the product is the result.

3. Do something to make it illegal to overpay CEOs, vice-presidents, administrators and supervisors. Slash the hierarchy. They get rusty, out of date and out of touch, even if they at one time were skilled professionals. Patrice what do you think? What do others see as a solution? Not pie in the sky but actual lower pay for people at the top. Don't say they have greater responsibility and stress. The people at the bottom have more stress about how to make ends meet, how to keep from being laid off, and how to manage three jobs so as to be able to pay bills.

4. Find a way to replace hierarchical bureaucracy by democratic peer supervision. All professional and paraprofessional staff in direct care/service, should have a vote and the leadership rotate about every two years.

5. Make alternate energy research and installation affordable. Start installing Solar energy pieces now to get experience and know how. Lobby government to subsidize it more than fracking and pipelines are now covertly subsidized.

6. Play musical instruments, sing together as families and in glee clubs. I am glad that the old fashioned "Old Timers' songs have not been lost, but very sad that hymns have been pushed aside. Even in churches that attract youth, only rock choruses are sung with a guitar. There are few words and they are repetitious. There are no hymn books and people are forgetting how to read music and sing harmony. The first hymn book in Bohemia and the first in England where published by Moravians. Rediscover thousands of marvelous old hymns, starting with Moravian, Lutheran, Wesleyan and Anglican. The words and the tunes are outstanding, yet my grandchildren have not known or heard them. Everybody knows "the Lord's my Shepherd," "How great Thou art," and "Amazing Grace." That's good but far from knowing thousands that are even greater.

I can sing with confidence when I have a hymn book with music. I make too many mistakes otherwise.

I have often been sad and I apologize that I could not afford to pay for music lessons for my grandchildren. It is a delight that my daughter has fulfilled that dream, far better than I could have hoped, by taking her grandchildren to music camp annually.

To Jordan I would try to encourage you by saying that having been in the school band with a clarinet, is a memory that will not be lost. Your fingers and brain remember and the skills come back when you touch an instrument many years later.

Natalie I am awaiting a disc with your singing. Evie will there be disks of summer camp concerts? Thanks for the disk of the Messiah you sang in. It won't work on the disc player on my radio. What shall I buy that will play it?

7. Tackle our Processed Food Industries Regarding Nutrition and labeling and Food and Drug Government agencies. The major worries I have are:

  GMO Genetic modification is not mentioned on labels. We are captive to its use. I think it is a major cause of weight gain. Why? Since Canadian canola has replaced indigenous shortenings and oils in India, there is an obesity epidemic.
  Heart and Stroke Foundation seal of approval is used on products that admit containing hydrogenated fats.
  The words "contains vegetable fats" may be a cover up for hydrogenated fats being used.
  Glucose/fructose is added to almost every canned and processed food. Our brains can't tell us when we have eaten enough glucose/fructose, so we overeat. Even canned tomatoes are now sweet so this year I plan to buy a case of locally grown overripe tomatoes and cut them up and freeze them in two cup cartons.
  All tinned soups, vegetables and stews are sweet like pudding. Cooking your own soup takes no longer and costs next to nothing. Just use lots of herbs and bits of vegetables and even their stems. Sometimes add a tbsp of frozen peas or corn. I add a few noodles sometimes but usually a few lentils. There are many varieties but the red lentils take only 5 minutes to cook, You'll have great variety and tasty results. Soak dry beans and larger lentils and cook them next day. I roasted a turkey for my 93rd birthday. After 8 guests ate their share the next day I made 11 TV dinners and the next day cooked the bones in lots of water for three hours. The day after I filled 12 two cup cartons with meaty soup and froze them. All this will provide feasts for many months.
  The reason we overeat is that we are hungry for micronutrients that are missing from our food by "purification", heat, light and/or chemicals. I buy olive oil that contains sediment (with is nutritious) in dark bottles or tins. I buy butter and never margarine.

Yesterday I added some frozen peas to my soup and they tasted very sweet. Never before has this happened, so just now I looked at the label and it says sugar 4gm. I am angry and tearful. Now I'll have to phone the food processor and tell them that is unacceptable.

Safeway bread is sweet. So far Save on foods bread isn't. I like sweet breads for desert, but not with with eggs or vegetables. This adding of sugar is a ubiquitous evil.

8. Pesticides and herbicides on everything. It is next to impossible to grow organically. I think farmers' markets of locally grown are the answer, being sparingly sprayed or free of spraying and GMO. Will you help destroy the multinationals like Monsanto and Cargill? They cause indigenous varieties of corn, peppers, coffee, bananas and cotton to go extinct and farmers in third world countries to live in extreme poverty with massive debts.

About the Myrtle Macdonald

She is has a M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing Research and Education), McGill University.


She is a retired registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 92 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.



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