Nine Words to Change a Life

All the boy wanted was a simple life. But no, the old man had to tell him those nine words, nine simple words that would cause a ripple effect of positives and negatives, good and evil, light and dark, a ripple effect to the point where his renowned moral compass was lying to itself to create this ambiguity so that, undoubtedly, it could save him, the innocent bystander of his own precarious actions, the ignorant fool who fantasized himself as a xerophyte but for knowledge, the impotent boy whose quest to become a hero would only be ephemeral if he never learned that not everyone could be saved; yet he yearned to do what was right and he yearned to be the protector the people needed and he yearned to be the man his father ever so desperately wanted him to be, but he couldn’t—that boy was lost forever in the labyrinth of his mind, for he, the spitting image of hope, fists clenched with intense strife, rose to his feet and stared the devil in the eyes, and at that moment he knew what he had to do, because he remembered only those nine words, those nine damned words that would forever tantalize him: “With great power there must also come—great responsibility.”

J Q HOIDN is a Canadian multimedia writer and editor who has a passion for storytelling and meaningful narratives. Despite his preference for writing poignant and humorous tales, he loves to challenge himself with new topics, mediums, and perspectives. When he isn’t writing, you can find him either cooking or dabbling in game development.

Land Acknowledgement

We would like to begin by acknowledging the Indigenous Peoples of all the lands that we are on today. While we meet today on a virtual platform, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the importance of the lands, on which we each call home. We do this to reaffirm our commitment and responsibility in improving relationships between nations and to improve our own understanding of local Indigenous peoples and their cultures. 

York University’s land acknowledgement may not represent the territory that you are currently on, and we would ask that if this is the case, you take responsibility to acknowledge the traditional territory that you are on and its current treaty holders. 

York University acknowledges its presence on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. The area known as Tkaronto has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat. It is now home to many First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities. 

We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.

From coast to coast to coast, we acknowledge the ancestral and unceded territory of all the Inuit, Métis, and First Nations people that call this land home. Please join us in a moment of reflection to acknowledge the effect of residential schools and colonialism on Indigenous families and communities and to consider how it is our collective responsibility to recognize colonial and arrivant histories and present-day implications in order to honour, protect, and sustain this land. 

In recognizing that these spaces occupy colonized First Nations territories and out of respect for the rights of the Indigenous people, please look for, in your own way, to engage in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.