top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichelle Leduc Catlin

Trued Up with Dr. Chris Shaw

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way….”

Like all great literary fiction, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities resonates today as much as it did when he wrote it in 1859.

As I reflected on my conversation with Dr. Chris Shaw, I kept thinking of that quote.

We spoke back in October of 2023, just after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Being Jewish and having friends and family in both Israel and Palestine, Chris was understandably upset.

The conversation began bleakly, with his incredulity at the insanity in the world and his deep concern about catastrophes to come.

But as we spoke, I discovered a man deeply committed to family and community.

A man who, despite his dark view of the future, simultaneously holds humanity in high regard, and refuses to succumb to the divisiveness being perpetuated all around us.

Instead of destruction, Dr. Shaw puts his energy on creation.

It was his creation of The Freedom Pledge, a document he wrote allowing each of us to declare who we are and who we shall be, that had me want to sit down with him for a conversation about what moves and motivates him to keep standing for and believing in human rights and dignity.

The conversation did not disappoint.

Chris Shaw is intellectually spry, fast- talking and quick-witted.

He is a deep thinker with a deep love for people, and he is my guest today…

I read Dr. Chris Shaw’s new Common Sense document after our interview and it is as sobering, compelling, and hopeful as he is.

In it he again quotes Thomas Payne…

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” 

Chris and his co-authors write:

“Modern human beings have reached an historical crossroads at which two paths diverge, each path leading to very different futures for humanity. The time to make that choice is now before us.”

We are at a place where we need to put aside our differences and be “the adults in the room,” as Chris says.

We need to develop the ability to look at the other side — a practice that has been disintegrating over decades of divisive tactics practiced by governments and those behind them.

But this is also the opportunity of our age — of all ages.

As Chris said, we have to be grounded in something bigger than ourselves.

Who will we have to be?

Who will we become — as individuals, as communities, as human beings?

He writes:

“In Paine’s day, the new World was an asylum for persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty. Today, there is no new World to escape to. Our battle must be here and now.”

My second takeaway from Chris Shaw is to define your red line.

No one has to go along.

We are not helpless.

And my most humbling takeaway was to always engage with people and keep trying.

It’s much easier to just avoid uncomfortable conversations, but if we keep trying with the kind humanity of which Chris speaks, we will break through.

“They’re our fellow human beings…and freedom only works if it’s for everyone.”

Part of Chris’s wisdom, I believe, is his ability to look at and recognize destruction, while also focusing on creation.

We need to begin the world over again, to forge new paths, to look newly, to act newly.

Every week, I talk about one of the ways we can do this — by shopping for a better world.

We can stop using our money to feed mega companies selling us unhealthy products and putting small, North American companies out of business.

The simple step of moving our household spending to non-toxic household products you can buy online is one way to stop funding our destruction.

If you’re interested in finding out more, if you’d like to help grow this podcast, contact me about the Switchaway Initiative.

Just send me an email through the contact page here to find out more, because I cannot do this without you.

We cannot do any of this without each other.

I invite you to take the Freedom Pledge, or write one of your own, and make your declaration known to your family, friends, and community.

TruedUp is my pledge to engage people in an inquiry into what it means to be a human being standing for truth, freedom, and justice.

To do so with curiosity, compassion, and a commitment to helping all of us align with what matters.

I’d like to read your key takeaways from my conversation with Chris Shaw.

Please share in the comments section.

And stay tuned.

Be true to yourself.

And remember that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏

P.s. You can also listen to this episode on your favourite podcast platform or join Freedom Network for early access to the whole season.

Please consider making even a small donation through the button in the upper right hand corner.

Sharing and likes are also greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your partnership in outing the truth and being the change. 🙏

160 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Mar 27

We need to start the world anew

... not repeat it over again. Excellent interview Michelle! God bless. Keep up the great work.

Michelle Leduc Catlin
Michelle Leduc Catlin
Mar 27
Replying to

Amen. 🙏💙

bottom of page