Robert Brehl

Robert Brehl

Robert Brehl is a writer in Port Credit, Ont., and can be reached at bob@abc2.ca or @bbrehl on Twitter.

A friend popped by the other day while I was working on a Sudoku puzzle.

I just celebrated my 26th Christmas with my lovely bride. Each Christmas has been special and each one has been a little different.

The other day a real-life discussion between pals reminded me of Unbroken, a movie opening on Christmas Day and based on the best-selling book and true story of a courageous American airman during the Second World War.

The other day, I fell off a ladder. More precisely, a ladder I propped up on a snow-slicked deck so I could clean out eavestroughs, slipped out from under me, dropping me seven or eight feet.

So often we hear and read about the lives of the rich, powerful and famous. Celebrity seems to rule our culture. 

But reflection on the lives of the ordinary, the everyday, the taken-for-granted, is often far more illuminating. If we look beyond the glitz we can see the real stars, the real world, and answers to some of the real questions. 

For some time, we’d noticed several big coolers and baskets by the front door of a neighbour. Sometimes, while walking our dog, we’d see someone pull into the driveway and drop some food in a cooler or basket. 

In a recent column, I mentioned the old biblical warning that money is the root of all evil and that sure set off a lively debate with my wife. 

They say all politics is local and that municipal politics is closer to our everyday lives than any level of government. It’s about water, sewage and garbage pickup. It’s about street-light repairs, safe pedestrian crosswalks and parks where our children can play. 

Ten years ago, a friend took his then eight-year-old son to Buffalo to see their favourite football team, the St. Louis Rams, play the Bills. Both father and son are diehard Rams fans and the son wore a Rams jersey to the game. 

Why do people cheat — whether on their spouse, during tests, playing sports or in business? A recent event amongst friends triggered this question in my mind and nagged me for several days about the psychology of cheating.