Embracing hope, hardship, purpose

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Matthew Mills is a Health & Safety Consultant with Human Resources.

Today, he takes his turn on Read. Watch. Listen.


I recently finished reading Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden. It appealed to me because I had seen Joe Biden speak at a conference in Toronto last year. Despite his popularity, he struck me as someone that is incredibly grounded. His keynote address felt like a conversation you could be having with your grandfather.

This book was a great reflection of that.

Joe takes you on a journey that includes deep sadness and loss, but leaves you inspired for the future. He challenges you to not waste a single minute – know your purpose! He talks about how character is built from a thousand little acts, challenges us to be able to forgive for the greater good, and reminds us that each of us have a duty to act honourably, even when nobody is looking.


Making a Murderer: Part 2 was just released on Netflix, so my wife and I have been binge-watching this. We’re almost finished, so I won’t spoil it for you. Part One was full of surprises – so I expected the same for this season.


An oldie – but a goodie! Check out A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels, a TED talk with Monica Araya. She talks about how nearly 100 per cent of Costa Rica’s electricity comes from renewable sources. Monica also speaks about some of the history of Costa Rica and how in 1949 after having gone through a civil war, the constitution was changed to abolish the military. Instead, military spending was diverted to social spending that guaranteed free education and healthcare for all. Previously budgeted money for the military was also used for investments in hydroelectric power in the 1950s and national parks in the 1970s and has resulted in a flourishing tourism industry.

Monica’s message of moving away from growth at any cost and instead moving to invest in people is an eye opener. She challenges us to let go of fossil fuels the same way that Costa Rica let go of its army. Having already visited this incredible country once with our two kids, my wife and I are already making plans to return.