An Invitation to Join the Club

As the dawn sheds light on a new day, I find myself reflecting on yesterday’s celebration of Canada’s birthday.

Canada is many things, including a beautiful land of diversity, both in landscape and people. We’re far from perfect and face our own struggles, but overall, we are blessed.

However, Canada is but one country, and sparsely populated in relation to land mass.  At just over 37 million, we’re a drop in the bucket.

What about this club thing in the title, Bierman? And what’s with the handshake photo? Don’t you know it’s dangerous nowadays? I’ll get to that, soon, I promise. First, I’m going to give you a quick bio about myself, so that you have a gist about who’s extending this invitation.

Here goes: I’m a white, middle class, Christian man, with a nuclear family. I have over twenty years’ experience as a Correctional Officer. I’m the son of immigrants who arrived as children, from Holland. I am proud of who I am, my heritage, my country, and my family.

I hope you are proud of who you are too. You have every right to be.

You see, this club is not exclusive, it’s open to everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political leanings, and occupation.

There are some rules, however:

  1. You must have a pulse.
  2. You agree to behave in a respectful manner to all. Do not mock or belittle anyone because you think their ideas, religion, beliefs, interests, what have you, are foolish.
  3. You agree to disagree, refrain from assigning unfair labels to someone, simply because their opinions do not coincide with your own.
  4. You agree to inform yourself and question what you see and hear on the news. That goes for social media, too. You are intelligent and have free will. Please do your research before you make assumptions. I’m sorry, I know real issues exist, but this particular item is gasoline on an inferno. Blue Lives Murder T Shirt on Amazon . So every police officer is a murderer? I don’t think so. I’m using this one because it hits a bit close to home. I don’t know what you do for a living but think about possible stereotypes for your profession. Are they true for all who work in that field?
  5. Honest questions are encouraged and even polite debate, but do not expect a conversion to your way of thinking. Oh, by the way, might be wise to leave the thesaurus at home. Sophisticated or uncommon words that are meant to demonstrate superior “intelligence” often do the opposite. More importantly, they do not foster amicable relations.
  6. We all have trauma and scars from the past. Yes, even the rich and famous. So many things shape us into what we are today. I think it’s important to remember that we are all one footstep away from being someone else.

So, what is this club? Well, I guess I’ll call it, The Club of Humanity. The invitation has no expiry date. All that is required is to follow these simple rules and check any bitterness, anger, and prejudice at the door. If you’d like, I can leave a bin of glasses at the entrance to wear, so that members can see others through a new lens.

Thank you for reading this. I hope to see you there!








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Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman's childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non. Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this country boy to life in the big cities. After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.

46 thoughts on “An Invitation to Join the Club”

  1. What a fantastic post and a club that I definitely want to be a member of. We all have so much to offer if we could just learn to realize that the ‘outer’ things aren’t what make us who we are, take a moment to walk in each other’s shoes every once in awhile, and treat one another with respect whether we agree with each other or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great post, Mark. I loved all of it, especially the fact that you will leave a bin of glasses for those that would like to look at others through a new lens … properly disinfected and at the table next to the hand sanitizer I assume? A well written and timely post given the present coronavirus state of the world and the turbulent times we all find ourselves in … thanks for the invitation to join the Club!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark, I wish I could “Like” your post, but WordPress is acting up for me and won’t permit it That said, count me in as a club member. This was a wonderful, heartfelt post. I can’t believe Amazon is allowing that t-shirt. So sad, especially when we want prejudices to end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re already a member, Mae! No worries about wordpress, I keep having to “Follow” the same people every time I go on their blog. Yes, I’m really disappointed that Amazon allows that shirt. What good does it do?


  4. I love your call for clarity, respect, compassion, and empathy, Mark. These qualities seem in short supply at times. Fortunately, there are already billions in your club. I’m all in too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is an excellent post, Mark, and you brought out some great points. Humanity is a club that many seem to have departed from. Stamp my membership certificate at the door. I am in!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great to learn you are from Canada, in my travel bucketlist marked with top priority. In my appartment 2 Inuit artworks from Canada / Nunavut remind me to this plan. I am still wondering where your intended club would meet. An imaginary site?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am nodding my head, yes, to this invitation. I especially like “We’re far from perfect and face our own struggles, but overall, we are blessed.” My other favourite phrase “…this club is not exclusive….”. I would like to join this Club, Mark. I hope I am already in this Club. Thank you for all of the great reminders and the enduring message. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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