Lifestyles

COLUMN: Cycling 4 Diversity Week coming up in May

On the Spot by Ken Herar

There are many moments in a day when I refer to long-time friends of the family as “uncle.”

Even though many of these so-called uncles are not related through blood lines, the term is often used more out of respect in the South Asian culture.

A month ago, our family lost one of our dearest. Uncle Moe, who was my father’s younger brother and someone who was very close to us throughout our entire lives, suddenly passed away a few weeks ago on a vacation trip to India, which took the entire family by surprise.

He was an outstanding tennis and badminton player and was referred to by many as “Mighty Moe” for his competitiveness and skills.

He actually registered me in my first tennis camp in the late ’70s in Kamloops, and it’s something that still stands vividly clear in my mind.

During the last three years, he always made an effort to visit our Cycling4Diversity team while we visited schools each May.

During our ride last year, he left two notes at the hotel reception desk where our team was staying. I decided not to throw them away because they were so beautifully written, and last Christmas I had the opportunity to share them with him, and he was pleasantly surprised to see them again. It may be a small piece of paper with a few lines written on it, but it’s the thought and effort that stands out the most.

This is who our uncle was – always there to support his family and friends at unexpected moments. I will treasure these two pieces of paper and the many beautiful moments that life gave us together.

We’re heartbroken forever, and in his memory, I am looking forward to wearing his Cycling4Diversity shirt that he so proudly displayed and wore.

Every family should have an Uncle Moe and we’re so grateful we did.

The two things that are almost certain in life, as I like to refer to them as the two D’s – diversity and death. When you come into this world, one thing is certain. You’ll meet many people from various cultures and backgrounds.

Another thing we cannot escape is death. Unfortunately, no one gets out of this world alive.

So, what can we take from these two D’s is let’s not waste valuable time hating each other and learn more to love one another.

We’re just around the corner, from Cycling4Diversity Week, May 18-24, in our province. The C4D team will be riding from Mission to Mission. I know it sounds a bit strange, but we’re looping around the Lower Mainland, visiting 15 cities and speaking at 20 schools.

The message on this year’s journey again is to encourage students, organizations and seniors to find ways to improve our intercultural communication.

During C4D Week the team asks people to try to find ways of being more inclusive in our sport teams, neighbourhoods and work places. C4D started in 2011 to conquer the growing cultural divide, and progress is being made.

As founder, I would like to especially thank executive director Terry Stobbart and Anne-Marie Sjoden for their efforts.

Stobbart said, “Our foundation is taking on new challenges in reaching out to our communities through the school districts and we are hoping to enter the workplace this year talking about diversity and creating the very dialogue that this foundation wishes to foster all over.”

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