The J.E.D.I. Journey With Alka: October

Dear friends and readers…

A disclaimer before I begin….

This blogpost will be in two-parts, so if you like to follow what we do at CMCCF, and you appreciate what I say in my monthly blogposts, do have patience and at the end of this post, I will indicate a `To be Continued’ so you can then read the `continued post’ that will follow next month. As I wrote this one, I realised, that I have bitten more than I can chew, in other words, there’s more to say on the topic I had decided on, so I would like us both, you and me, to take our time to explore and process our reflections without feeling rushed. 

Change is the only Constant

October is a sort-of an in-between month-weatherwise; but irrespective of where geographically you might be as you read this- in Canada or anywhere else in the world-it also signals that we’re coming up to year-end.

Seems quite unbelievable actually that we’ve already journeyed so far into 2023 and are about to turn the page! Time flies indeed, and we witness change continuously in our every-day lives, visible in the passing of seasons and the moving on of loved ones, as well as manifest in the shifting colours of nature, summer to fall to winter, and from spring to summer again as the ephemeral cycles play out.

Sometimes we want time to stand still, and at other moments we want the clock to tick faster than it does so that nightmare times can end quickly. Sadly though, the world is a complex place and life a mixed bag that doesn’t come in colors like black or white; it’s available only in some muddy shade of grey. And the fact is, we don’t always feel like we have control or agency. 

Also, change is the only constant in everyone’s life, said some wise person somewhere long ago; this is so true, and if I chance to meet you someday-wise friend who said those words- I will shake your hand and readily drink to that seminal idea! 

Our Values could be our Anchors and our Guiding stars

Speaking of control though, while as individuals, we hardly have power to change the course of world events, and sometimes even the trajectories of our small lives, given that external factors intervene to create big challenges in our journeys, be they personal or professional. 

However, we must not forget that we do have the agency to respond to circumstances in thoughtful and compassionate ways, choosing to act not from self-interest alone but also considering the needs of others, including of the planet.

This tiny space-for thoughtful consideration, from which action could potentially spring- is exactly the point where, as humans, we can step back and engage in self-reflection. For example, we could do this through asking ourselves: what kind of thinking guides our approaches to life, and how do these influence the choices we make as we trudge on in life? 

Or we might ask: do we come to the work we do and the relationships we have from values like respect, and compassion for others; and do approaches driven by inclusive thinking and social justice resonate with us?

It may be helpful to ask ourselves if we believe in mutuality and generosity, as well as a commitment to diversity and equity. This though may not be enough as we must go a step further too, and think more about what such beliefs look like in action and how we might integrate them into every-day practice.

The answer we get when we pose the above questions could be a clear yes or a resounding no, or responses may lie somewhere in between those extremes; but the ability to engage in such reflective practices is also a sign of being someone who is guided by the values of openness, flexibility, and adaptability, as well as an interest in learning, growth, self-correction, and building more awareness.

This process of checking in with ourselves can also help us surface and make visible our blind spots and the assumptions we make about certain individuals and population groups without even realising that this is the case. The key factors that shape the work we have done at CMCCF in the last few years are grounded in an orientation in a values-based framework. Our website provides detailed information on this approach, so do visit it to check out the values that are our governing principles. 

World Values Day (WVD) is celebrated in October every year

In the last few years, for me, and for our team at CMCCF, October has also been made special as a signifier for World Values Day (WVD). Founded by Charles Fowler in the UK in 2016, and coordinated by volunteers, it is by now a global movement for transformative social change.

The centrepiece of WVD is a values-orientation, and this then shapes our core beliefs; the objective is that this in turn paves the way forward, leading to behaviours and actions that align with individual and organizational values.

Supported by multiple organizational partners and collaborators worldwide-basically a community of change practitioners who believe that our values are at the centre of our core beliefs and our actions-World Values Day is celebrated annually on October 20, simultaneously in over a hundred countries. 

Under the aegis of WVD, through engagement on the part of organizational partners in their own space and circles of influence, diverse small and big events are organized both virtually and in person that interested participants are invited to join. The extent of impact created on those who participate, with the ripple effects ongoing, are obviously hard to even quantify, leave alone measure accurately, so that is not where this blogpost aims to go.  

The Wisdom of Hardship Circle

By way of a brief back-story that further deepens the values discussion further: A few members of our CMCCF team came together during the COVID-19 pandemic, somewhat spontaneously and organically, to create a Wisdom of Hardship Circle. 

It was triggered by the social isolation all of us felt at that time, including the fact that we were dealing with our confusing emotions-ranging from loneliness to fear to sadness and a lack of understanding about how our world and everything we knew in it was going to change forever.

Since in the initial weeks when the pandemic suddenly hit, and all familiar channels of communication with friends, colleagues and often even with loved ones in the family closed down, we all seemed in need of a space where we could express and process our shared (and differing) thoughts, experiences and emotions.

What emerged was a community of support where we started with sharing and gathering stories of hardship, but as time went on, as a group we felt drawn to our aspirations for optimism and for positive thinking. We invited strangers to our zoom community as we followed the principle that all voices matter; and learning from each other in such a mutual kind of setting helped us all begin to see what was happening around us from multiples perspectives.

Soon this process of building such a community began to feel comforting and it led us out-from darkness into the light. Both individually, and as a group, we found ourselves becoming more resilient through finding seeds of hope in our conversations as sharing with each other nurtured and regenerated us. 

The `To Be Continued’ blogpost in November…

Next month, I will share with you our journey from Hardship to Hope as now our team has gone on to a new iteration of our community conversations, and we call it the Wisdom of Hope.

I will also share with you in the next post how our values are integral to our current J.E.D.I Initiative where the objective is to explore how members of cultural communities envision their future in multicultural Canada, and the pathways that we can imagine together, of moving in such a direction.

Until next month then, meanwhile take care of yourselves and of each other…

The views expressed in this blog post are mine, and I take full responsibility for them. We are always wanting to hear from you – please share your thoughts and feedback by completing our contact form here or by emailing

To learn more about our Intercultural and Intergenerational Diversity and Inclusion Engagement Project, go to our J.E.D.I. Initiative landing page here.

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