Extreme Kindness

Extreme Kindness


Imagine that you are sleeping.

You are lying in the most comfortable bed. You are warm and completely at peace. Now just imagine that a bucket of ice-cold water is thrown over your entire body.

Brrrrrrr! Time to wake up!

Life can be like that sometimes. One minute you are happily moving to a dream song and then suddenly rudely awakened to reality by a cold dose of awareness.

This happens to me on a regular basis. I think because I am at heart a dreamer and believer. I see the best in people and the world around me before I see anything else. But there are times when I must alter my optimistic approach and be aware of all the shades and colors of a picture.

The Kindness Crew was recently in Winnipeg working with the company IG and its employees on some community volunteer initiatives. At one point the OKC were in charge of revolving groups of 20 plus people painting a inner city shelter and resource center for the less fortunate. After painting, the Director of the center gave the four of us a tour of the facilities. In 10 minutes I looked into the faces of some very desperate smiling people. Recovering alcoholics and drug users, homeless looking for food and rest as well as the odd arrested public disturber. That was the most disturbing part of the tour for myself. We visited the drunk tank and learned that many people were brought here daily by the police to calm down after a celebratory night. Each cell had a matt and a hole in the ground to either throw up or “do their business” in. These in ground toilettes were flushed from the outside. Every cell stunk of human waste. I walked into one, closed the door and almost had a complete instant panic attack. “So this is where many people hit rock bottom”. I thought to myself. “What would it take to end up in a place like this?”

I found myself suddenly thinking of what it must be like to constantly live in such a state. I then tried to imagine living in poverty in a country such as Africa. Where every day countless people die of sickness and despair. Standing in that cell just for a few minutes had for a brief moment connected me to the possibility of losing all hope.

I took a deep breath and slowly walked out of the cell. Okay, time to dream again. But I want all the dreamers out there to realize that the purpose of dreaming is not to forget the world we live in. We must dream and continue to hope in order to make our world a better place in which to live.

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3 Responses to “Imagine”

  1. Mike Says:
    December 9th, 2005 at 12:20 am

    Go boldly in the direction of your DREAMS!

  2. Melinda Says:
    March 21st, 2006 at 6:15 am

    I experienced something similar with ‘One Life Revolution’. It literally put you in the world of an African boy or girl, and you take their journey – part of which is finding out if you have AIDS or not. Turns out Timothy, my character, had AIDS. I was sitting in the ‘health clinic’, just waiting and waiting and waiting….because I had no one to help me out. After 3 minutes, someone ‘rescued’ me. And while those kids live a lifetime of this & I only experienced 3 minutes, they were the longest 3 minutes of my life. My point is, we must seek ways to experience what others do, so that we might be able to understand their pain more.

  3. Brad Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    Hi Melinda,

    I think your point is right on