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My final thoughts on Donald Trump. Why I am retiring from Facebook.

Fri, 2016-03-11 14:39

I am a leadership development guy. I work with tens of thousands of young people every year. I try and help them understand that they have the ability to make their life and the world that they live in better. I try and teach understanding, tolerance, compassion and of course the idea of dreaming BIG. This generation more than ever needs to believe the world can and will heal and become a more humane place.

I will be 100% transparent, I am not American, I am Canadian. There are negative people that live in both countries and I would choose not to ever associate with them. You are who you spend time with. That’s a fact, that’s science.

I have decided to retire from actively being part of Facebook. I will still be on the periphery as our company has a presence there. We need to communicate with clients and staff so we have to be part of it. But, as for me, I am done (for now).

In my feed every day, I see the ridiculousness of the US election. I watch the clips. In fact now Facebook will just keep playing similar clips continuously if you let it. You get to see the racism, bigotry and the weird, untrue, random statements that Donald Trump and to be fair, many other politicians make. It brings me down, gets me angry and make me sad. I have great friends in the United States. I think of many of them as family. I respect them. I worry about the future of their country. You see running a country is different than running a Casino or being on a reality TV show.

Sadly, I also find myself commenting and sharing in the negativity. I don’t want to be part of that tribe. Everyone needs to feel like they belong to something. Be part of a group. Donald Trump is the “leader” of a group of people that don’t really understand the complexity of the world. It’s not black and white and it’s not the strongest person that usually wins. It’s usually the calmest person, with the long game in mind that out-lasts the hate, fear mongering and fact-less “truths”.

I am honoured to be a Canadian. I know it’s not a perfect country. Very aware. It is interesting though that Justin Trudeau was elected on a platform of change, hope and opportunity. I am 100% sure that he will not succeed with every promise he made. He can’t. The world, economy, environment and global political structure changes so quickly that what is thought to be right or the trend in one year will change in the next.

So, while sifting through the garbage on Facebook today I came across this beautiful picture.

The Prime Minister of our country, carefully helping Mauril Belanger, a Member of Parliament, who has ALS (remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?), to the Speakers Chair. He wanted to be the speaker of the house, his dream. The Canadian government made that dream a reality. The entire house stood and applauded. I was moved.

A beautiful moment of humanity amongst the disappointing and negative displays put on daily by Donald Trump and his many colleagues. It reminded me that I need to surround myself with good. One of those “people” that influences you and I could be Facebook. So I am taking a leave from it.

As I reflect on this picture, I can’t help but think, would Donald Trump call him a “loser”? If it suited him I think he would. You see Mauril, is a liberal, similar to Democrat. So, that by simple association would make him bad. Yes I am assuming he might say that, but from what recent history would suggest it’s very possible.

What’s worse though, is the fact that thousands would probably cheer Mr. Trump on while he put the man down. That’s wrong.

That’s not leadership, that’s not what humanity should be about. That’s not what a “leader” would do and that’s not what I want to surround myself with.

Life is too short. I have much to do.

I choose STUpendous over STUpid.

Peace out FB!

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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye