Chris's Journal - October 16, 2002


Sarnia Sarnia proved that its latitude was not the only thing keeping it mild during the frigid fall months-the kindness of strangers was also warming the city streets. After experiencing a pre-emptive winter, with an inch thick snowfall in near sault ste. marie, it was a relief to get back to the warm climates of sarnia. Rumor has it that sarnia is as far south as northern tip of California. From our first step into this tiny border-town we were immediately accepted as honorary residents; having our faces plastered across the front page of the paper, accompanied by the title “roaming band do-gooders visits sarnia” definitely didn’t hurt our chances of being embraced by the locals! The positive media reception allowed us to penetrate deep into this community and easily breakdown the borders between strangers.

The people of sarnia demonstrated that national borders could not stop the migration of kind acts to and from the united sates. During the atrocities of September 11th members of both communities held a spontaneous candlelight vigil, for victims of the NY attacks, on the bridge that connects the two communities. Legend has it that the gathering started with only one person, lighting one candle, and THE WORD quickly diffused to both sides of the border bringing hundreds of light holders within hours from Canada and the usa. Unfortunately, because of our vehicles insurance restrictions we won’t be able to experience the benevolence of the American public UNTIL our tour crosses the 49th parallel next year.
We did however, with the help two of sarnia’s kindest, rod brown and Tanya wolfemolson manage to make a substantial impact each day of our visit.

Beside the massages for the mayor during city council, the flowers in the offices of stressed out secretaries, the visits to youth rehabilitation centers AND the early morning coffee drops to residents and radio jockeys; the real energy came from the classroom and hallways of the local schools WE VISITED. We deviated from our normal presentation format- presenting to audiences of 300/400 ESTATIC, screaming students (the gym walls reverberating, the room about to explode!) - and opted for a more intimate setting, meandering from class to class. Students SEEMED TO receive more from this style as we incorporated theatrics into our tales of kindness on the road. We used an interactive format inspired by “whose line is it anyway?” and coaxed the students into takING THE floor TO perform suggested acts of kindness. they saved trapped monkeys; gave toilet paper to distraught porta-potty users; cleaned pop bottles off the school bus floor (erik being the floor) with yard sticks; and dawned superhero tights to rescue people in distress- again highlighting that random acts of kindness can be both creative and outrageous. We were thankful of the student’s participation; our tongues were tired from presenting to eight classrooms AND two rotary groups in the past twenty-four hours. Our presentations became quite comical when, because of our lack of articulation, disjointed and inarticulate sentences began dribbling out of our mouths: “we used to live in a tree”; “we didn’t know nothing about anything”; and “we have visited toy shelters” were among the most witty that day.
The humor and inclusion of all the students into the games made it seem like the message was actually getting to the students. Instead of preaching, we allowed them to realize how zany, fun and fulfilling kind-acts can be when you take control and decide how you want to make a difference in your community.

They experience the joy of kindness (as campy as that may sound) and we got an ear full from the heads of family we visited in the businesses that we infiltrated the next day with flowers. Fathers were asking us to autography copies of the newspaper for their ecstatic daughters (huh?) and mothers beams exclaiming that their kids had come home raving! Maybe Kindness just got cool?WE have put the challenge to sarnia to break the world record for kindness (18,132 acts in a 24 hour period) set by salmon arm, and we have promised to return on the eve of that day! Is your town up for the challenge? WE ARE!

Quick Kindness : do you think you can make a difference in this world? Whether you do our you don’t, have you even tried? Give it a shot. believe in your infinite potential and the infinite possibilities that life presents. We know you have it in you!

November 20, 2002
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Octoer 29, 2002
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October 20, 3002
October 16, 2002
October 13, 2002
September 28, 2002 (2)
September 28, 2002 (1)
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August 31, 2002
October 21, 2002
October 4, 2002
September 19, 2002
September 8, 2002

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