A Big Thank You To My Fellow Viewers And Followers

I received a really nice email recently from a longtime fan:

I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But, I’ve been following your blog for a long time now – just wanted to congratulate you. I love what you do and you inspire me with every post! Keep it up! – Marilyn Gramms 

I’ve loved reading all your emails and notes of encouragement since I started my blog, and this is actually a fantastic example of why I decided to do it in the first place. Not for the appreciative comments, but because I value all of you who have taken an interest in what I do. My main goal is to inspire and educate you about our beautiful world and its reality, as well as what lies beyond our planet.

Over the months, I’ve been able to connect with a lot of you one on one via email, social media, and even on my blog, but I know there are still many of you who have been following my blog and have never interacted with me. So my commitment is to make my blog as interactive as possible, for your personal experience.

For my work, the most important thing that matters for me, personally, is if I can inspire and show you how wonderful and how precious life is. That’s why Living Life to Explore is my trademark, I believe we should all live our lives to explore our world’s wonders.

What’s also great about what I do is, I get to interact with you, my viewers, and having the opportunity in collaborating with other bloggers to create something fantastic and memorable for all of you.

Notes like Marilyn’s are a good reminder of the real people on the opposite side of my computer screen, too.

In the end, my blog wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your constant support and love. It’s been a blast to connect with all of you who have been following my blog for a long time. Whether you’re new or if you’ve been following my blog for a long time, I’d love to hear from you.

Feel free to leave a question, comment or concern.

Stay tuned for my upcoming posts – New post coming out Tuesday, April 11th.

NOTE: I’ve recently updated my blogging schedule to every two days. There may be exceptions if I feel the need to do so.


© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

Why I love National Geographic

Reading National Geographic is, to me, an endless world of opportunity and adventure. Opening a new copy really feels like stepping into a new world.

I love National Geographic because so much can be learned from it. They portray the world so beautifully with the help of an amazing team of photographers, journalists, adventurers, writers, biologists and camera crew, that it makes it so much more interesting and fascinating.

National Geographic confronts us with reality. It showcases the beauty and history of our world. It gives us a better understanding of man and nature, evolution of space and time, how new planets and galaxies are always being discovered. These are all amazing examples portraying the reality and truth.

But they also have a neat way of showcasing the darker side, things that are not beautiful, as well as things that make us unhappy. This can be seen by climate change, natural habitats being destroyed, or even human beings who are struggling to survive. In the end, it shows us the good, the bad, and the ugly.

What’s even better about National Geographic is, anybody around the world can have access to its content no matter how old you are.

Just recently, I learned that a marine iguana developed an amazing solution by shrinking and regrowing its size on demand for surviving a common weather event called El Niño which removes much of their food source. So by shortening their size, they shorten the amount of food and energy they would need, giving them a greater chance of survival. What a remarkable example of adaptation!

But being a big fan of National Geographic for a very long time, I was actually thinking of pursuing a career as a photographer and writer to discover more of our world’s wonders and what lies beyond our planet. And if you’re interested in adventure just like me, working for NatGeo is definitely the way to go.

In the end, so much can be reflected on its content between man and nature. You see, National Geographic truly makes the world a better place, but most importantly, it makes us better human beings.

National Geographic makes an explorer of us all.


Life Between Posts

One of the most common questions I receive is, “What do you do when you’re not blogging?”

As much as I love blogging, it would be very hard for me to not find time in my day to do so. I mean, having so many ideas and topics to write about, I guess blogging about it would be the better solution.

Since I get so many questions about what I do when I’m not blogging, I figured I should write a more in-depth post about my life behind the screen and share with you, my life between posts.

First off, you probably already know that I’m a very artistic person and if you don’t, I think it’s important to talk to you in detail about my true love for art:

  • I always loved sketching and drawing still life. It has always been something in which I was very good at, and slowly I’m getting the hang of sketching and drawing portraits of human characteristics, which in my opinion is much harder. I’ve been doing this form of art since I was very little, and over time with constant practice, my art has improved so much.
  • Besides doing that, I occasionally practice the art of photography. I recently got into photography about three years ago, and my love for it has grown dramatically. There’s something I love about capturing that perfect moment and having that moment, stick with you for the rest of your life. And I’m always aiming to improve my photography to a greater level and to master the true secrets of what makes a perfect photo.
  • Last but not least, a true art form that I admire so much is the art of food. Since I was a toddler, I always watched my mom cook in the kitchen, and I’m sure you have too. Watching her years after years taught me a lot of important factors about food in terms of preparation, presentation, and taste. Today, I have the knowledge to transform simple ingredients into a delicious and stunning meal, thanks to my mother. And my knowledge of food and cooking keeps on growing with every day that passes by.

Secondly, when I’m not blogging, in terms of staying active…Snowboarding, dancing, tennis, and other forms of exercise are all examples of what I like to do during my free time. Not only is it healthy physically and psychologically, but doing what you love to do can be a lot of fun, not to mention how great of an opportunity it is to spend your time wisely.

Thirdly, as you probably already know, I’m still a student. That means every day I receive homework and new lessons that need to be finished well and on time so I can continue to get those good grades that I need in order to pursue my future career.

Anyhow, you might be wondering how I can still blog and do everything else I just mentioned, well, my response is simply that I manage my time to do what really needs to be done first, such as working hard to get those good grades and helping my family, and if I have some extra time, I’ll use that time to do more artwork, to stay in shape, to continue blogging, and most importantly, to continue doing the things that I love to do.

Hopefully, this answers the question of, “What do you do when you’re not blogging?”

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me by email, social media or the blogging community. Hope you’re having a great day and stay tuned for more posts to come!


Aboriginal Rights: To Education

Regardless of who you are and where you live in the world, whatever your age, sex or ethnicity, you have the right to education, and governments have an important responsibility in making it happen, to provide equality of education opportunity to all their citizens.

Education is the center of human development and the core of all opportunities. Having access to education can provide a lifetime of opportunities in the lives of the youth, it can also provide a good and healthy life for him/her in the long run. So it is no dought that education is a fundamental human right. Education gives us the important start in life so it must be accessible and appropriate without discrimination for the youth.

Despite the true importance of education, Indigenous people across the globe continue to be the least privileged group. Today’s society ignores their true importance as a whole and gives them very few opportunities. Besides being constantly ignored, they feel society has turned them down in a way that is truly undeserving and unfair.

Statistics show that about 50% of Aboriginal children drop out before reaching grade 12. The fact that more than half of the Aboriginal population have no access to education should be a concern to everyone around the world, that this is unfair towards them but that our governments aren’t doing the necessary to provide a safe learning environment for the Indigenous people of the world. Their voices aren’t being heard but instead ignored, and that is a constant problem in our society.

But though Aboriginal children struggle at school, because of their learning disabilities and the lack of motivation that today’s education does not teach in depth about their culture and history, Aboriginal children must be included and feel included.

A major problem is that Aboriginal children who are attending on-reserved schools are denied access to the same standard and quality of education as primary and secondary education programs, and youth services that are available at school. On top of that, teachers are not getting the same salary as other schools in the district, resulting in poorer education for the students, and also they don’t have enough money to pay for good quality desks, chairs, chalkboards, and heating. So for many of the schools, students have to spend their day learning in a cold environment.

Provincial school systems are different compared to the reserve school systems, making it very hard for Aboriginals to adapt. What they need is the support of provincial schools. They also feel discriminated by their ethnicity and by racist and stereotypical comments.

In the end, there is no question that the Indigenous people of the world suffer a lot. Having to adapt, learn and survive a new world that was once theirs, truly is unfair and should be fixed. There are several organizations providing a lot of money to strengthen the education board for Aboriginal children, which is great but, more needs to be done in order to make it a safe and equal learning environment for them.

So as education is a primary right to all citizens, everyone should be treated the same and have the same rights regardless of their sex, race and who they are. Education, as mentioned, is a primary start in a child’s life, so it should be available to everyone. And for all the Indigenous people out there, they will always be apart of our lives and they should be respected as for their culture and history.


A Fight For Social Justice / Social Equality

The amount of hatred and discrimination against someone’s race, religion, ethnicity and/or sexual orientation has always been a problem in the world we live in.

It absolutely boggles my mind thinking about it because, why would someone have the audacity to hurt a person who’s not exactly like him/her either verbally or physically? We were all created as equals, but for some reason, we can’t learn to live with each other peacefully nor can we learn to accept other people for who they are. Whether if you’re gay, black or white, catholic or Muslim, crippled or sick, nobody deserves to be discriminated because of their race, religion and/or sexual orientation. And if you are the person that discriminates someone for whatever reason, I’d tell you to think twice and look at yourself first before judging someone else, because nobody deserves to be mistreated.

The constant issue of social equality is not even close to ending, but if you look around outside, there are millions of people who are making a difference in the world and you might be that person who is doing so. After all, a journey to a thousand miles begins with one step. That’s all it takes.

Speaking of making a difference, yesterday I saw this amazing documentary talking about the legacy of John Lewis called, “Get In The Way: The Journey Of John Lewis.” It was a very sad documentary but at the same time, what he did to overcome racism and the brutality in that time period was absolutely incredible. A man who made a difference in the world and never stopped fighting for social justice and equality. He knew at that time what he was getting into, even for doing the right thing, but regardless of being sent to jail or getting a beating, he never gave up. One of the most striking moments was when a man, also a former leader of the KKK, came up to him several years later and apologized for being that racist and for hurting him physically, and John Lewis’ only answer was simply, “I forgive you.”

It is said that later, this documentary will be shown throughout the schools as a way to educate the students about this difficult time period. In the end, forgiveness and kindness come a long way, if you believe something is wrong and should be fixed then do something about it and make that difference in the world, be hopeful and mindful to yourself and each other and never give up. Unfortunately, racism and discrimination will always be a part of this world, but you can be that person that ends it. After all, it’s A Fight For Social Justice and A Fight For Social Equality!