Pubdate: Mon, 09 Jan 2017
Source: Toronto 24hours (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Inc.
Author: Shaun Proulx
Page: 6


We're navigating such tricky times, economically, politically and

Discord isn't just rampant on a global level - we're out of harmony
even in our own backyards.

This week, in my backyard, which happens to be in the heart of
Toronto's LGBT community, many are understandably outraged following
the physical assault of a young gay man on Church Street, sacred
ground and assumed safe space for LGBT people for decades.

On social media, where dialogue about the matter is lively, to say the
least, blame is being heavily laid on the "sketch" element a recently
opened business is said to be attracting, and, therefore, on the
business itself.

Cannabis Culture, a recreational marijuana dispensary owned by Marc
"Prince of Pot" Emery, opened its doors September 1st, 2016.

It is attracting, according to anecdotes, a shady customer base, some
of whom are alleged to have harassed and bullied LGBT people within
Cannabis Culture, while others are alleged to have attacked them
verbally and physically out on Church Street itself.

This unfortunate situation offers an excellent opportunity to remember
that we operate with two core emotions - love and fear - and that it's
either one or the other at all times.

Understanding that every thought we think, word we say, and action we
take comes from either fear or love will make the difference between
you being a powerful force of nature, or, frankly, not.

Fear lives within much of the Facebook chatter right now between
well-meaning, upset LGBT people. Here's a sample: "Maybe it's time to
start patrolling Church Street with a bat. I will be happy to knock
out some teeth. Trust me when I say LGBT people will not tolerate this
… [Cannabis Culture needs to]be better or be gone! More police
presence! Start carrying pepper spray and Swiss Army knives. Here we
are protecting police floats in our parade when they don't give a s---
about us …"

Fear-based notions like these backfire. They act as a repellent for
what we love. Fear is about struggle for power, what will happen next,
attachment to outcome, and wanting to rearrange the outer world.

In this case, all these Facebookers, some of whom are friends, who
love the idea of solutions to this problem, are actually pushing
solutions away. In whatever red-hot moment fear happens, recognize it
telling you that you have the power - before you say a word, write a
post, make a call, send a email, share a story, take an action - to
choose fear or to choose love? The latter choice is intimate,
vulnerable, compassionate, open-hearted, co-operative, and about the

I have interviewed Emery three times, including days before he began
his five-year stint in U.S. prison, and right after his 2014 release.
The man I've met is kind, brave, flamboyant, brilliant, and would, I
believe, be pained to feel there was a link to his life's work and
violence against innocent people. I'd be shocked if he didn't listen
to concerns. I bet getting a solution started is a lot easier than
many might think.

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Shaun Proulx hosts The Shaun Proulx Show on SiriusXM Canada Talks
channel 167. He is the publisher of and
leads a #ThoughtRevolution on on .
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MAP posted-by: Matt