My Vancouver Olympic Torch Relay Story

2010 Olympic Torchbearer Laila Saleh with Rod McLeod holding a Montreal 1976 Olympic Games Torch in Newcastle, New Brunswick.

Sheridan School of Business student Laila Saleh braved the rainy weather to run the Olympic Torch through Newcastle, New Brunswick, courtesy of The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) one of the sponsors of the Canada-wide event.

Laila Saleh, a Banking and Wealth Management program student, won her opportunity of a lifetime through a contest offered by her employer RBC. Saleh, who balances a career in banking at the RBC Visa National office in Toronto and studies in banking at the Sheridan School of Business in Oakville, was recognized by RBC for her excellent customer relationship skills.

Laila’s Olympic Torch is officially lit for the torch relay.

“I won the Olympic Torch Relay because of the referrals I have received for generating revenue for RBC despite the market turmoil.  It really is my once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in the Vancouver Olympic 2010 as a torchbearer and I am blessed to be part of this truly exciting event,”

As part of the prize package, RBC provided an all-expenses paid trip to Miramchi, New Brunswick for Saleh and a friend so she could join the Olympic Torch Relay and carry the flame.  For more information on the Olympic Torch Relay be sure to visit The Globe and Mail or view online at CTVOlympics or at RBC.

Laila Saleh carries the Olympic Torch through Newcastle amid cheering well-wishers.

Bogus Parking Ticket

Last Friday, I went with friends for dinner at the Spring Rolls Restaurant in Front & Jarvis & then watched New Moon at the Rainbow Theatre. I took the car. I parked the car. I proceeded to the ticket machine, popped in the change at 7:30pm, and bought time until 9:00pm. Dinner, movie and conversation were lovely.

At 11pm, I returned to my car and found a dreaded yellow parking ticket on my windshield. My reaction was most certainly of the WTF!? variety. This was the first time that I’d gotten a totally bogus parking ticket! Apparently parking officer _____ thought I didn’t pay for parking, even though my stub and expiration time were placed visibly enough on my dash. There’s absolutely no reason why someone who is trained in this job shouldn’t have seen my stub, and I’m starting to think that they either don’t care or they’re doing it on purpose.

I looked around hoping to see a parking vulture nearby, but none were to be found. Calling the phone number on the back of the ticket only frustrated me further. So what do I do now?

I have to arrange to appear in court to protest the infraction, but I’m almost inclined to just pay the fine (even though I did nothing wrong) rather than waste time trying to protest my case. Maybe this is what the city is hoping might be the response? None of the four trial locations are particularly close to where I live, and I would have to take off time during working hours to appear in court. There’s a quick $60 for you, City of Toronto.

Is there a parking blitz still in effect? Are the officers getting sloppy, or is there a greater conspiracy to dig up here? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m out $60, illegitimately. I can’t possibly be the only one that has been wrongfully fined, am I?

Quick Relationship Talk

The Secret to Dating is very simple:

1. Be confident. Be comfortable in your skin. Be assured in who you are.

There’s two basic philosophies in knowing how to handle yourself after a major breakup:

1. Some people throw themselves into their career. They say it’s their number one focus right now & that they wouldn’t date anyone anymore. It would be all about work.
2. While others throw themselves into every woman or man in their city.

First Steps

The first steps toward compassion is by removing the greatest hindrances to compassion: anger and hatred. They are extremely powerful emotions, and they can overwhelm our entire mind. Nevertheless, they can be controlled. Investigate whether or not anger is of value because the energy of it is always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive, unfortunate behavior. Moreover, if the anger increases to the extreme, one becomes like a mad person, acting in ways that are as damaging to oneself as they are to others.

This controlled energy comes not only from a compassionate attitude, but also from reason and patience. Unfortunately, many people misjudge these qualities as signs of weakness. I believe the opposite is true: they are the true signs of inner strength.

So when a problem arises, try to remain humble, maintain a sincere attitude, and be concerned that the outcome is fair. Of course, others may try to take advantage of you, and if by remaining detached you only encourage unjust aggression, adopt a strong stand.

Our need for love

Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion brings us the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. However capable and skillful and individual may be, left alone he or she will not survive. We need a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.

The expression of love is also very important at the time of birth. No one is born free of the need for love.

Purpose of life

I believe it is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. It is therefore important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.

The two main categories are mental and physical. Of the two, it is the mind that exerts the greatest influence on most of us. The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.

As long as we live in this world, we are bound to encounter problems. If, at such times, we lose hope, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but everyone who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.