Extreme Kindness

Extreme Kindness

Connecting the world through kindness.

Bestselling authors, corporate trainers and internationally acclaimed advocates for social change, the Kindness Crew is sparking a global revolution in kindness. From audiences at Fortune 500 Companies to entire metropolitan centers, the Crew has inspired and mobilized millions to commit acts of community service.

How is Extreme Kindness Spiritual?

We were recently asked to speak on the spiritual aspect of Extreme Kindness.

I thought that this would be an easy question to answer at first. But I quickly realized that very often, matters of the spirit, can be elusive in their description and not as tangible as we would like. Like any contemporary seeker I immediately turned to the ultimate source of modern day knowledge; Wikipedia.

“Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. The spiritual, involving (as it may) perceived eternal verities regarding humankind’s ultimate nature, often contrasts with the temporal, with the material, or with the worldly. A sense of connection forms a central defining characteristic of spirituality connection to something greater than oneself, which includes an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence. Equally important, spirituality relates to matters of sanity and of psychological health. Like some forms of religion, spirituality often focuses on personal experience (see mysticism).

Spirituality may involve perceiving life as higher, more complex or more integrated with one’s world view; as contrasted with the merely sensual. A common theme of spirituality in many traditions, is thus the path, work, practice, or tradition of perceiving and internalizing one’s true nature and relationship to the rest of existence (ie, God, creation, or life), and of becoming free of the lesser egoic self (or ego) in favor of being more fully ones true Self.”

Okay now we have a common platform to all jump into the waters of our inner selves.

Extreme Kindness began for the four of us as a way to PROTECT our spirits. We had just watched September 11th with the rest of the world. Glued to the TV, wishing for change yet feeling powerless to do anything about it. My mother had also recently passed away just a few months prior. On September 11 2001, we went out to commit our first marathon of extreme kindness to preserve our HOPE. Hope in the world, our fellow man but also ourselves. Hope that we might do something to help the people around us.

I also believe that the spirit needs to have FUN. Extreme Kindness is all about connecting with each other and ones true self through laughter and joy. Happiness and Kindness is the spirits natural programming. We all start as babies who experience pure JOY and WONDERMENT of the world around us. A mothers KIND touch, a fathers song and a siblings smile. When we are having a good time is often when we feel most in touch with ourselves, the ones we love and the world around us. I personally find that the best ANSWERS come when I am laughing.

Extreme Kindness has given each of us a connection to something greater than oneself. Enough said here.

When performing acts of kindness you step out of the material world and into the realm of feelings. I love the temporal reality I spend much of my time in, but to every so often touch that other place that so often remains hidden can truly be addictive.

Maybe that is because every time I give, receive or witness an act of kindness, my brain produces more Serotonin (Did I spell that right?). That’s the natural hormone our bodies give us to feel happy. Now that has to be good for matters of sanity and of psychological health.

To wrap up thus the path. Extreme Kindness walks in the real world on a real journey for a better understanding of real human beings and being human.

I hope this helps and please let us know your thoughts as well.

B-rad
B-Cool
B-Kind
B-Spiritual

24 Comments »

Indifference

I was asked recently,

“how much does Extreme Kindness truly change the worlds problems?”

The problems being: War, Poverty, Racism, Disease, Hunger, Murder, Corporate Greed and Political Corruption.

My answer,

“I do not know”

My goal for Extreme Kindness is not to directly bring about World Peace or solve any other of those massive and frightening global issues.

I’m no genius and I am not a great man.

But, rarely have I been indifferent.

Extreme Kindness wakes me up. It gets peoples attention. It can take away a persons indifference.

Indifference to suffering. A lack of connection to the world around us. This is all I wish to solve. Then maybe someone might teach me how to help make a real difference.

Edmund Burke

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.

Elie Wiesel

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

George Bernard Shaw

Indifference is the essence of inhumanity.

Helen Keller

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.

Joan Vinge

Indifference is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don’t stand a chance against it.

25 Comments »

It’s Been A Long Time Baby!

Oh, how I’ve missed you!
I have so much to share…. But this is just a start. More to come.

Found this in a book by Shel Silverstein called “Where the Sidewalk Ends”
Thought you might appreciate it. It made me remember how great it feels to be a kid. Carefree and stoked!

Hug O War

I will not play at tug o war,
I’d rather play at hug o war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

hug-o-war-hug

I am loving this kindness!

If you get the chance check out some of the radical videos on youtube. Type “Free Hugs” or “Kindness” and prepare to connect with the fact that the world really does have a lot of potential. People are good.

Have a great day.

114 Comments »

I’ve pondered this myself

I got a splendid question from someone the other day and thought y’all might enjoy both the question itself and just one possible answer. I’ve left out the person’s name to respect their privacy:

THE QUESTION

Hi Val,

I was reading your book last night and I have to say, you guys have done some pretty cool things. I am struggling right now because I feel to weighed down and overwhelmed with all the little details of my life and since I can’t/don’t feel compelled to just leave all that and take up a full-time vocation of extreme kindness, do you have any suggestions for how to incorporate it into my life style that already exists? Or does extreme kindness require some sort of upheaval or reorganization (at least of priorities)?

Pondering…

AN ANSWER

Great, GREAT question! In my expereience, all it requires is a little mental adjustment, a willingness to be open to accepting opportunities to be extremely kind. You don’t have to seek them out or reinvent your life. Moments to express your compassion will find you, but go ahead and ask the universe to start sending you some of those “moments”. You will attract only what you desire to do. You don’t need to spend nights on the street with the homeless but you can certainly comfort a freshman during a crisis by taking them out for a 20 minute coffee. Just be careful you don’t put out the “i-can-save-the-world” vibe: the universe will send you massive projects! Just be open to the little, but still profound and immeasurably great, acts of kindness. (A massive snowdrift is still made of perfect, microscopic snowflakes…)

Hope that helps, V.

33 Comments »

Props for PLU!!!

We just got back from Tacoma, Washington, an epicentre of super-fly vibes and community minded life-lovers! Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) had us down to speak to about 120 students for their bi-annual “Meant to Live” conference. The question of the moment was: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Well if the future is the next generation, then the future looks bright indeed. After our talk, a crew of 25 went to a local low-income school to clean and landscape a courtyard. Huge thank-yous PLU Crew for your positivity and smiles: you guys made my month. Jessica, huge kudos for driving us four crazies around and Penny, your pit stop at Krispy Kreme before the airport was a sugar-rush we will never forget.

YOU GUYS ROCK!!

30 Comments »

Kindness World Change!

I thought you may be interested to take action on this email we recieved this morning! I’m game!

Hello,

I am writing to try and create an epidemic of kindness and change. My friend and extraordinary leader, Jason, compelled me and many of my friends to change the world in some way in celebration of his birthday on September 22, 2006. He is looking for everyone he knows to make a commitment to change, kindness, and leadership. I challenge your amazing Kindness Crew to do this as well, and possibly challenge all the people that visit your site to do the same. 9/22 or any other day can be a great day to develop change even if it’s with a simple smile or kind word. I hope we are able to create this change. Thanks for your awesome commitment to kindness!

CHANGE THE WORLD ON 9/22!

Alyxa

27 Comments »

An amazing couple of weeks!

Here it is….

These last 2 weeks have been exciting ones.

Starting with an awesome interview on a radio show out of Memphis called “Talk about Service” with Ed Horrell. Ed is a switched on guy who is, as he astutely put it, is “drinking the same juice” as the Kindness Crew. I would have to agree. All the projects Ed is involved in seem to have pertinent applications for the practice of kindness. Take, his book for example: Kindness Revolution: The company wide culture shift that inspires customer service. Ed is a leader in the field of customer service and in this book looks at how, by using a culture of kindness and consideration a company can fundamentally change how the work with customers. He has a lot of great things to say about kindness in the business world and his sites have a lot of interesting material.

Check out his radio program here (our podcast is near the top)

And his personal website here.

The next inspiring event was a trip to Saltspring Island where Val and I had an refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating brainstorming day with one of the founders of the Virtues Project, John Kavelin If you are not familiar with the project here is their vision and website link:

The Vision of The Virtues Project is to serve humanity by supporting the moral and spiritual development of people of all cultures, by helping them to remember who they really are and to live by their highest values.

This project is doing incredible things around the world. When you put a few focused people in a gorgeous house with great food and open minds the possibilities are endless. We explored several ways personally and professionally we could make the worlds a kinder and more connected place Val and I were both stoked to be get connected with all in attendance. Mover and shaker Amelia Pawlak from Pawlak Productions and Non Profit advisor extrodionaire Micqualyn Waldie from the Goldstream Salmon Enhancement Society (and about a 1000 of the non-profits) rounded out this fantastic five. Good ideas are brewing and the world is a better place for this meeting here are a few pictures…

salt-spring-2006-002

salt-spring-2006-006_0009

Between the two of these events I was on a blissful vacation with the Gillies family in the East Kootneys where I spent relaxing, hanging with my girl, and soaking up lake life.

Here are a few shots….
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Have an awesome week and feel free to post your summer adventures in kindness!

65 Comments »

the other day: a beautiful thing

A beautiful thing happened the other day.

On Sunday, I spent some QT with my cousin Lauren at the mall, she was cruising the perfume counters looking for the perfect eau-de-something. Between sneezing fits brought on by huffing vapors and coffee beans, we witnessed a heart-wrenching random act of kindness.

A group of ladies approached the counter and gave one of the female clerks a book. The women passing on the gift didn’t linger, but just said some nice words and thanked the clerk for helping them and sharing her story.

Always full of curiosity, I leaned forward over the counter and said with a smile, that was nice, what’s the book? The clerk was stunned but managed to show me the cover. I forget the exact title, but it was roughly Getting Over The Death Of A Loved-One. My smiling face turned to a blank stare; I didn’t know what to say.

A confused smile fluttered momentarily on the clerk’s face. She opened a drawer, removed a tissue and started to cry. That was so sweet, was all she said behind modest tears.

It felt like someone had cranked the heat in the room or just cranked the heat in me. I walked around the counter and just gave her a big, long hug.

60 Comments »

Credit where credit is due!

I have heard that to be grateful is one of the signs of a happy and successful person. Well, I must be pretty successful gauging by all the fantastic individuals in my life lately. I want to send out some grateful vibes to some of the people in my life who commit acts of kindness in my life.

-Tracy and Graham for producing life in the form of Luke Sherman any one who wants to send them a congrats email can at grahamsherman@gmail.com. He just popped out today.

-Michelle for being one of the most interesting, inspired and fun loving women on the face of this planet. Thanks for one of the greatest Tofino trips of all time.

-Clare “with no eyes” for being funny, intelligent and trusting. Thanks for being such a great travel buddy. Aaaargh!

-Mark Lutterll for being an insanely generous and great friend who also gave me a kiteboard.

-Rik, David, Clancy my Dad and Mom for doing work on the property at Goldbridge. Word was that they were building in 42 degrees. I really appreciate it.

-To Jay and Carl. Thanks for continually staying in touch and connected even if we are far away. We love our ‘chuther.

-Chris thanks for being openhearted. You are great.

-Chris thanks for teaching me to kitesurf and launching and catching my kite today.

-Joanne. Thanks for loving me and making the effort, continually, to connect even when communication isn’t smooth. Really, I am so lucky to have you. Also thanks for all the fish!

-Mike and Greg. For without you this would not be possible. Visions and manifestations abounding.

-Merv and Cathleen. Thanks for following your hearts to each other. Also thanks in advance for the…. you know what!

-George. Thanks for knocking in a cheerful tone when you were testing the fire alarms in the house.

-George in NC. Thanks for being a great friend and an all around solid guy. Massive hug to you and your partner.

-Richard and Ross. Thanks for believing in me and my abilities enough to make me a team rider for Ocean Rodeo.

-Paul. Thanks for being friendly and helpful and modest.

-Steve. Thanks for being a mentor. The dash IS important.

-You. I really appreciate you hitting the site. Thank you. Hopefully this week you’ll be committing some RAK’s that make others feel successful and lucky to be alive.

There are about a million other people in my life who deserve thanks but I’d rather wait until I see you. Thanks in the time being.

I LOVE THIS LIFE!

33 Comments »

Taking Risks Video

Whether in our personal or professional lives, the elements of risk, chance and fate will sometimes come into play. I don’t always recommend putting yourself on top of a wild horse (as you will see in this video) but I surely am an advocate for taking positive risks in life. Success depends not just on preparation and hard work, but also an ability to take action and ride out a sometimes-bumpy ride.

Now saddle up and jump on those horses!

Also please feel free to send me links of any/all cool videos you might want to recommend. This particluar video was cut & produced by a young mister Dan Cox of Victoria B.C. He is also responsibile for Erik’s Hulk video of last week. Good job Dan!

YEEEHAH!

B-rad

5 Comments »

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