Local Jewelry Line, Brooklyn Designs, Shares A Sparkle Of Kindness With Founder of Vancity Business Babes

When women support other women, it’s a phenomenal thing. Whether professionally or in personal matters, when a woman has your back, you know you have more than just a helping hand. You have someone who gets it. Who gets the truth about living life with the expectations placed on us (by society and by ourselves), who gets the physical and emotional backdrop in front of which our multi-tasking lives play out. North American culture generally has this undertone of individualism and competition. But times are changing, friends. I really see it. I see the ways we are moving toward communities of women who support each other in childcare and who build each other up in business.

One such powerhouse community I have been following on social media is Vancity Business Babes, one of Vancouver’s largest networking and resource groups that aims to educate, connect and inspire young, professional women. Founder Danielle Wiebe started the group two years ago based on her belief of cooperation over competition. Since then she has been a beacon for countless entrepreneurs while giving back to the community in creative and authentic ways, such as The Gift of Giving she launched two years ago.

And behind every successful woman is a tribe of women cheering her on. When Danielle’s friend, Jennifer Pereira, nominated her for a random act of kindness through #LMOKindness, I was touched by the words she used:

“Danielle is the remarkable young lady behind Vancity Business Babes. As the founder, she has made it her life’s work to create and enable a community for women in Vancouver to come together in entrepreneurship and collaboration. What sets Danielle apart is her heart. She does everything possible to support community initiatives – often at her own expense. Danielle devotes countless hours to bettering Vancouver and creating a positive experience for others. Anyone that meets her is immediately inspired by her huge smile and heart. Despite facing stress and challenges, she pushes forward.

Danielle is truly inspiring. I think receiving a random act of kindness would be one small way we could give back to Danielle as a token of appreciation for all that she does for 1000s of other people in our city.”

Since Jennifer contacted me I have gotten to know her better too, and I should say, we should all be so lucky to have a friend like her.

One of our favourite sponsors who has shown incredible generosity toward our charitable endeavours – Brooklyn Designs – donated a stunning necklace for this particular random act of kindness. All of Brooke’s creations are easy to pick out in a crowd because they are classy and simple with a boho vibe – perfect for everyday wear or layered up for a more formal look. You will also find Brooklyn Designs on celebrities on T.V. shows, movies and news stations! Their pieces are so well-priced you don’t even have to wait for them to go on sale to grab some – but they do have these huge clearance sales every so often that just blow my mind. Visit their site and sign up for their newsletter to stay abreast of all the special offers in 2017. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and you can never go wrong with a gift (for yourself or someone else!) from this local jewelry designer. Thank you again so much for your generosity, Brooke! You are also the epitome of creativity and kindness!

Follow Brooklyn Designs on Instagram for more looks and style inspiration.

Danielle received the Laurel Aqua Chalcedony pictured here:

brooklyn designs, laurel aqua chalcedony, taslim jaffer, let me out creative, random acts of kindness, LMOKindness

Once again, the #LMOKindness project is a TEAM effort! Thank you to Jennifer for nominating Danielle and thank you Brooke for this beautiful gift of kindness.

If you are interested in participating in the program, it’s easy! Just fill out this nomination form if you know anybody who could use a little token of appreciation.

We really couldn’t run this initiative without our sponsors, so if you are a local business with a desire to give back to the community in this unique and personal way, please be in touch with me for more details. I love shouting about entrepreneurs and individuals who make it a point to keep their business charitable. ** If you don’t have a product or service that can be donated but would still like to participate, I have plenty of ideas that we can talk about!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

How A Random Act Of Kindness Brightened Tami’s Christmas #LMOKindness

When I first launched the #LMOKindness campaign, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know if people would actually fill out the form and nominate anybody. I didn’t know if businesses would come forth and make donations that would fulfill a need or lift someone’s spirits. But the nomination forms showed up in my inbox, and businesses and individuals I approached were happy to participate. The need is still great from a donation standpoint. If you are a business that would like to show its commitment to community giving, please contact me to learn more about this initiative!

This story that I’m going to share with you today is really what #LMOKindness is all about. A woman named Janice wrote in about her friend, Tami who, in a short time, had sustained an injury that left her unable to work for awhile, was going through the dissolution of a marriage, and was single-handedly raising her own children plus a foster child. The dissolution of her marriage forced her to move cities as well, so really, Tami was going through so many of life’s major stresses at once.

I was touched by the compassionate words Janice used to describe Tami and when she concluded: “Her strength of character, persistence and positive attitude, plus her Faith have given her much solace this past year and, I am sure, will continue to provide her Light in the future,” I knew I really wanted Tami to catch a break this Christmas.

Along came a wonderful couple, who wish to remain anonymous. They are friends of mine who asked me to keep them in mind when a nominee came to my attention who needed help with the day-to-day. With the Christmas season approaching, I was sure that Tami and her children were the perfect fit for this couple’s generosity.

A gift of $150 in grocery gift cards and $100 in a pre-paid credit card were mailed out to Tami a couple of weeks ago. When I received Tami’s email acknowledging receipt, I shared her words with my friend and we both had a good cry.

Not only were Tami and her boys ecstatic about receiving help with groceries and Christmas gifts, one of her sons even suggested they share the grocery gift card with another family he knows who are in a dire situation this year. That’s what moved me to tears and made me so thankful this connection was made. This is exactly how kindness works. It’s not something we can hold and contain; kindness is an energy that moves through us. It inspires us to reach out to others. It fuels us, even, to be able to do so.

With the pre-paid credit card, Tami will be able to buy her sons gifts to open on Christmas Day. On that day I’ll be thinking of them, and of the family they shared their grocery gift card with, and of the couple who helped make this all possible.

Life can be cracked and ugly and heartbreaking. It can also be made better by the kindness of others who help glue the pieces back so that we can be whole enough to help someone else.

Thank you to Janice for nominating Tami!

If you know someone who deserves a random act of kindness, please take a moment to fill out this form. And if you are a business or an individual who would like to make a donation, please be in touch. We like to shout about businesses who are doing their part.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

O Canada! How Do I Love Thee…

I can’t even count the ways. I thought I would make a list of top 5 reasons, or top 10 reasons, but how I feel about my country can’t be articulated in bulleted points.

I immigrated to Canada from Kenya in 1979 when I was less than a year old. This is my home, my home, my home. Over the course of my life, there have been occasions when people have assumed I was a more recent immigrant or that I didn’t speak English (and that speaking loudly at me while enunciating slowly would help me understand their popcorn order when I worked at Kernels). These occasions were always a surprise, but really the greater message is that Canada is a country of immigrants, made up of all cultures, races, religions and languages.

I love that.

And I love that one of our Prime Ministers thought that this country of multi-cultures was valuable enough that he declared a multicultural policy in 1970 that stated Canada would recognize and treat equally all people. (Thank you, Pierre Elliott Trudeau). And then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney enacted the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (section 27 under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) a decade later. Thank you, Mr. Mulroney.

And if you follow our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau you know that the Canadian values of compassion and equality are alive and well in the vibes we send out to our local and global communities.

I love that.

The first time I met people who had to leave their land against their will because of violence, war and destruction, I was in grade 8. These were the Afghani people who escaped through the mountains, stayed in camps in Pakistan and found their way here to Canada. Today there are still people fleeing unimaginable circumstances and miraculously finding their way here. Now that I’m an adult, a mother, I can ask myself, “What would it be like if I had to leave Canada without my possessions, against my will, and with my 3 children clinging to me?” I can’t even imagine. The rest of the world is foreign to me, even Kenya, even India (where my ancestors are originally from). I am proud that Canada is a haven to those who need it. And I know most Canadians live up to our reputation.

I love that.

I also loved that when I went to graduate school for speech therapy in the United States, those who knew I wasn’t there from India (more people there than here assumed I was), automatically knew I was Canadian. Maybe it was the fact that I was searching for my grey toque left behind in the computer lab, and nobody understood what I was looking for. Maybe it was because of the way I said sorry, and how often. (It’s just polite). Could have been the maple leaf on my backpack. Or the fact I sometimes had a hard time transcribing what the kids in our speech-language sessions were saying because the vowels were different. Maybe they knew I was Canadian because when I overheard people say overtly racist things and *nobody* around them flinched, I was like, “You just say things like that?” While it’s true that racism has definitely not been left out of Canadian history and unfortunately exists in the present, I think most of us are conscious of it (the overt forms of it, anyway) and are working hard to adjust our perspectives. The Canadian culture, in general, strives to live harmoniously. And I love that our culture is palpable as soon as we cross the border into our beautiful land.

I love that I can be Canadian and South Asian and Muslim and a woman etc and that doesn’t take away from my Canadian-ness. In fact, all the parts of my identify add to my awesome-ness, and Canadians are awesome. So really, being awesome makes me, overall, super Canadian. Eh?

Today my nation and my people celebrate our beautiful country of which we are proud to be citizens. All of us who aren’t First Nations have come from the world over. Canada is a country of immigrants. It’s a land of peace, compassion, kindness, and open-mindedness. These are our values and I have tremendous faith that we will continue to raise the bar in living up to those values as we celebrate more and more Canada Days.

I love you, Canada. Thank you for all the opportunities you have given me and my family. Thank you for inspiring me to be the best version of me.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

 

 

Remembering Mom With A Random Act Of Kindness

“Your mom’s birthday tomorrow…How are you doing?” My cousin, Zubeen, texted from Toronto last night.

I had just come home from my own birthday dinner with my 3 kids and my husband. May has always been a month of celebrations with myself, my brother and my mom having birthdays within a handful of days. Mom’s last birthday was in 2008; Life has only given me more and more love each year since then, but I always look back fondly on how we used to celebrate together. And of course, there’s always that heavy feeling in my chest when I remember how special she made us feel on our birthdays.

When a loved one passes away, it’s always nice when someone else talks about them, brings them up in conversation, shares a memory, recognizes a special day. They never truly vanish when we keep them alive like that. Stories are so important, not just to reminisce with those who knew our loved ones, but also to pass down to the next generation who may not have had a chance to witness someone’s character or personality.

My mom was a giver. I don’t know anyone who could dispute that. She gave and gave, and then she gave some more. One of the things she liked to do was pay for the parking for the person behind her at the doctor’s office. “You never know what kind of news they got from the doctor.” This is so true.

My cousin, Zubeen, suggested we remember Mom today by doing a random act of kindness for a stranger in her honour. Kindness is a ‘given’ every day, of course, but her suggestion actually made me feel excited about today. Setting an intention to make someone else’s day a little brighter is always uplifting, but doing it in someone’s memory is another way of saying, “My mom existed. She once lived here with me.”

Being 3 hours ahead, Zubeen beat me to it ūüėČ I got her text first thing this morning sharing what she did for a stranger. It was a fun way to start the day!

Would you join us? If not for my mom, then for someone else you wish was still here with you?

You can tell us in the comments how you chose to spread kindness today – you never know who you will inspire. Plus, did you know that ‘witnessing’ an act of good increases the serotonin in your body? That’s Nature’s anti-depressant. The whole thing is a win-win situation!

Hope your day is full of love and joy, and celebration!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative birthdaymom

 

Searching For Self-Love

Countless readers come to my blog through the search term ‘self-love’. It seems we’re all searching for it. I think that’s because we’re starting to believe all those thought leaders who have been telling us since the beginning of time that LOVE is the key to everything. And self-love is the most important kind of love there is.

We’re finally realizing that it’s not the same as being selfish. In fact, when we love ourselves, we can give more to those around us – and we can give the best of ourselves.

I found this quote through my own internet search and I want to share it with you today:

“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will too. It believes exactly what you tell it – through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to take care of yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are a one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” ~ Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Life-Long Beauty

The opening line grabbed me. I love that word ‘celebrate’. It goes beyond simply accepting. It’s the difference between mumbling, “Yeah, I’m kind of different,” and exclaiming with a joyful laugh, “YES! I’m different!” Celebrate your differentness.

And why should you celebrate it? Because it’s the thing that will bring you joy and serve others. Your joy serves others. Spreading that joy serves others. See how totally unselfish self-love is?

Victoria Moran goes on to explain how exactly you tell the world that you cherish you: through the words you use to describe yourself, how you take care of yourself and how you express yourself.

I especially love that Victoria includes how you express yourself as a form of self-love. Remember when I chose to wear that dress despite the fact that I’d be the only one wearing tulle? I LOVE tulle and it highlights my femininity and makes me feel like I’m showing up the way I want to. I hesitated, though, in making that decision. I think we sometimes hesitate or choose something completely different when we are not celebrating who we are. In all forms of creative expression, often when we feel ourselves holding back we’re struggling with valuing ourselves.

[Tweet “It’s hard to be bold when we’re not sure¬†we deserve the joy and freedom creativity brings.¬†“]

Go on, right now, and grab a piece of paper and make 3 columns. Fill your columns with your descriptions of yourself, your rituals of self-care and your creative expressions.

What do you notice about how easy (or difficult) it is to fill those columns? What do you notice about your descriptions of yourself? Are you taking care of yourself optimally? How do you express yourself creatively?

Celebrate your differentness.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

 

 

10 Things I Learned When Someone Made Me REALLY Mad At Zumba

Zumba is normally my one hour a week to dance like I belong in a music video and sing like I actually know Spanish. But this week, Zumba went to a whole ‘nother level.

I got to class with a few minutes to spare and there were fewer people in the gym than usual. I took advantage of all the space and found myself a spot in the second row. In the mirror across from me, I was perfectly centred between the lady a row ahead and the instructor’s beaming face. (Zumba instructors are just so happy!) It was like I won the Zumba jackpot and I was pleased as punch. The first two songs were amazing; my victory at scoring this rockin’ spot was fueling funkier moves than I normally produce. I noticed, near the end of the second song, that a woman who usually has front and centre was actually a row behind me. She must have come in late.

Anyway, after song #2 was done, I left my spot to take a swig from my water bottle at the side of the gym…but when I turned back toward my spot, it was taken – by the lady who normally dances up front!

I was livid. The gall! Even the lady who had been dancing beside me noticed, and she turned to give me a half-shrug and a look like, that was kinda weird. I was so mad, my feet were rooted to my spot even as the next song started up and arms were flailing all around me. How dare she? Who did she think she was? And what made ME an easy target for her? I concocted all sorts of reasons why she would personally attack me, then jumped to all the things that had probably happened to her in her life to make her so callous and cruel. I alternated between feeling sorry for her and her insecurities, and being angry at her for disrespecting me.

I knew I had to do something.

And I spent the rest of my class figuring out just what it was I would do. I glared at her side profile once and then felt awful. I don’t glare. It’s just not something I do. Darn, now she was making me be someone I wasn’t! How did she have that much control over me?

Ok, so my first plan was to edge my way back to my spot (which really wouldn’t have been too hard – the class remained less full than normal and I could have found room beside her). But I wouldn’t just quietly take my spot back. I’d say something like, “Excuuuuuse me. You took my spot!” Yeah, that’s what I’d do! I’d make sure she knew I was no pushover!

I imagined all the different ways it could go down. But in every scenario, she ended up being a psychopath who found out where I lived and stalked me. I would have to quit going to Zumba: my one hour a week when I can dance like I am on stage and sing in Spanish. NO!

My next plan was quite clever. I thought, why not go the passive-aggressive route since the aggressive route was giving me heart palpitations? I’d pretend I was a writer for Psychology Today, working on an article about women’s behaviour in female-dominated spaces. And I was looking for correlations between their behaviours in these spaces and how they conduct themselves in other areas of their lives. I’d say, “The way you disregarded my someone else’s space to get what you wanted…is that how you are in your relationships and business?” Basically: are you a b*tch all the time or just at Zumba?

I have to admit, that plan lasted like 3 songs and I was getting some of my pep back. Yeah, that’s what I’d do! I’d call her out but sound all brainy, not whiny, about it.

Ugh, and then it just felt like a really bad plan. It was just completely dishonest. And I have this thing about dishonesty. I don’t like it. It’s the opposite of everything I value. I’ve seen how lies and half-truths hurt people and I’ve also known the disappointment of finding out someone had lied. I didn’t want to be disappointed in myself.

So, there was like 15 minutes left in the class and I was 0 for 2 with my strategies of dealing with The Spot Stealer.

And then it dawned on me.

Today, she was my teacher. There was something I had to learn from her and the only way I could receive what she had to offer me was to talk to her with an open mind and heart. At the same time, I realized that this was more than just about space in a class. I wanted to know things about her: was it her nature or personal circumstances that made it easy for her to claim something she wanted? Did this trait serve her well in other areas of her life? Was this perhaps something I needed to embrace or awaken within me in order to claim what I wanted?

As soon as the last stretch was executed and the teachers shouted out their thank you’s amid all the hollers, I went right up to her and asked her for a few minutes of her time. Her smile and genuine “Sure!” and the feeling she gave off melted any residual negativity I was harbouring toward her.

We moved to the side of the gym and I told her I had observed how she moved forward in the class when there was an empty spot. It was quite simple to her. She likes space. She saw some. She went for it. She said she never meant to intrude on people’s areas but it was really important to her to be as close to the front as possible.

I asked her if she approached the rest of her life that way? Because I felt like she did and I respected that, in a way. More so, I was curious about it. As someone who tends to make things easy for others, bend to their needs and adjust my own desires accordingly, I wondered if this was holding me back in some parts of my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I will always put kindness first. And to be honest, I will always be conscious of other people’s ‘space’ (be it physical or otherwise). That’s just who I am. But I’m realizing that the main block I put up for myself when I think of my aspirations is my belief – a very untrue belief – that I am not capable/deserving/worthy of it. It irks me when I see other people exhibit this belief, but in all honesty, I am annoyed with myself for the same reason.

She gave me examples of situations in her life when she achieved things simply because she believed she could. She knew she would get what she desired because she felt she deserved those things.

“I know what you’re saying. I’ve believed those things about me, too. I’ve just been so off these last few weeks.” I heard myself say.

“What happened? Something negative must have happened to trigger this.”

And I was able to pinpoint the exact moment things kind of went off-kilter for me. I told her about it and we talked about the need to ward off negativity and stay focused on the positive.

Even as I type this, I wonder…did this really happen? Did I really just walk up to a stranger and connect in this way? And I am so grateful and amazed that I was able to turn something around mid-situation and realize the lessons and gifts that were being presented to me in a really bizarre way.

Those few minutes talking to her reminded me of so many things:

1. Don’t judge a person or a situation without knowing the whole story.

2. Even when you know the whole story, look at how it applies to you, and not the other person. What can you take away from the situation? They are free to be who they are, and so are you. Just be you.

3. I know everything I need to know about how to create more of what I want in my life. Nothing she said to me about how she manifests and believes in herself and looks at the positive was new to me. She was saying what was already inside me.

4. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to be the student. It’s actually a really rewarding role.

5. Teachers come in all forms. Even in spandex, a cute tank top and a sports bra.

6. Highly sensitive people need to work hard to disconnect from pain and sadness, but it’s important to do so.

7. There are no coincidences. What happened in Zumba this week was exactly what I needed to have happen.

8. Gratitude and self-love conquer all.

9. You wake up every day with endless possibilities waiting. You just have to be awake in a more spiritual sense to really see them.

10. How you approach something (or someone) can make or break an encounter. With a smile and “I think you can help me understand something,” she and I were able to start a positive conversation. With anger and bad intentions, the whole thing could have gone south pretty fast.

While that was enlightening and probably one of the coolest things I have ever done, I am looking forward to next class, when the focus will be back on my awesome dance moves!

A Weekend Getaway Sponsored By Springs RV Resort #LMOKindness

When Lori nominated¬†her husband, Dan, to receive some #LMOKindness,¬†I knew I wanted to be a part of this story. Dan had been an employee at IBM for over 20 years and was recently laid off. This transition, of course, had some repercussions for their single-income family, and Dan was in definite need of some Spirit-lifting! In speaking with Lori on the phone to get a better feeling for what Dan¬†might need, I picked up on the idea that the whole family (Lori, Dan and their son) could use a change in scenery and some fun in an outdoor setting! Lori’s voice was full of hope for her husband, her son and herself; I am sure this will be the beginning of a new phase that brings them much prosperity and happiness!

To send them off on their new journey, our Kind Sponsor – Springs RV Resort, is hosting this family of 3 in one of their luxury RVs to enjoy all the amenities of their gated community resort. I had the pleasure of staying there last Summer with my husband and kids and we had the BEST time – so my heart is happy that Lori and her family will have a great weekend getaway!

[Tweet “@SpringsRV donated a weekend getaway to a deserving nominee! #LMOKindness”]

Springs RV Resort is the perfect lake escape only 90 minutes from anywhere in the Fraser Valley. The Resort is in the charming village of Harrison Hot Springs and just a leisurely stroll from the lake and beach. Designed for family fun and boasting a unique community with weekly summer activities, Springs RV has two outdoor swimming pools, brand new Whistler-style amenities, indoor clubhouse, outdoor games area, children’s play area and more.

Since I last visited, there have been many add-ons that I am sure Lori, Dan and their son will make good use of:

  • Brand new 3 story clubhouse
  • New adult pool and over-sized hot tub
  • Large heated family pool with hot tub
  • Spa-like bathrooms with heated tiles
  • 5 outdoor community fireplaces
  • Two bigscreen TV areas
  • Library with fireplace
  • Stone and cedar social pavillion for dinners and dances
  • Laundry room
  • Large treed playground
  • 1930s carousel
  • Walking trails, dog walk
  • Free WiFi and Shaw HotSpots

Find out why the kids think Springs RV Resort was voted one of the best in its class in North America, then give them a ‘like’ on Facebook to stay current:

…and check out this foodie talk about his outdoor kitchen! Can you smell the grill?

 

I want to thank our Kind Sponsor, Springs RV Resort, for donating an entire weekend of family fun to this much-deserving family. Please be sure to contact them if you want more information on overnight stays, seasonal leases and sites for purchase in their community at 1-604-796-9767.

Dan – you’re a hardworking, loving father and husband and we hope you are excited for your weekend away! Lori thinks you are so deserving of this act of kindness and that, in itself, is a great gift!

Don’t forget to pack your swimwear!

If you’d like to be a Kind Sponsor, please contact me directly. There are many ways to participate!

 

#Vancouver: Mild Weather But An Icy Reputation??

The following is a press release that I am choosing to share because it holds information on a really cool campaign coming up this weekend. ¬†I’m all for sharing something that might encourage people to step outside of their comfort zones and show some kindness. ¬†I don’t think Vancouverites, or people in other cities for that matter, mean to be rude when they don’t say hi to strangers. ¬†It takes courage to do something like that. ¬†It’s not really part of our social norms; in fact, overly friendly people are often thought to be strange. Not sure how this became infused into our culture but I’d like to encourage you to look up at people you pass on the streets, smile and say hi. ¬†If nothing else, it’ll make you feel more connected and more human. ¬†(There’s only so much love our cell phones and computers will give back to us!)

Here’s the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 25, 2013

 Does Vancouver need a social adjustment?

Say ‚ÄėHi‚Äô to a Stranger Weekend in Vancouver – #sayhitoastranger

Date: November 8- 10, 2013

Time: All Weekend

Place: City Wide

Have you ever walked down city streets feeling especially friendly and compelled to say ‘Hello!’ to the next person you walked by just because you are so happy to be¬†alive¬†and want to share that joy? Did you get a ‘Hello’! back?

Lately in Vancouver this question has ignited a lot of controversy and conflict and the debate continues to escalate. The question being: Is Vancouver an asocial city? Vancouver singles and some non -singles have started to voice their disappointment of the social environment in the city. Men blaming Women, Women Blaming Men, but is this a City wide issue, non gender specific?

Kaare Long, the CEO and owner of¬†Cue Creative Consulting¬†is a single entrepreneur mom living in Vancouver, and fuelled by her own sense of isolation began to investigate this phenomenon. Polling friends, single and not, male and female, the response began to weigh heavily to one side.¬†‚ÄėVancouver is a Cold City‚Äô. This impression has been written about consistently in local newspapers and magazines with the latest installment bringing the discussion to a whole new level- A new online web series about the troubles of dating in Vancouver:¬†Single and Dating in Vancouver.

Kaare and her team at a Cue Creative Consulting wondered what they could do about this stigma. How could attention be brought to this issue in a positive way? Chelsea Pescitelli, Sex and Relationship Writer and Correspondent for Global News wrote the article that was the catalyst for Kaare to embark on this project. In this Article¬†‚ÄėSingle in Vancouver: The Asocial Society‚Äô¬†in¬†VancityBuzz. Chelsea identifies the social issue and then finishes the write up by DARING Vancouverites to say ‚ÄėHello‚Äô to a stranger with no expectations. a Cue accepted that dare and hit the city with a camera in hand. Launching the Video and Blog as a beta test across social media sites, the response was explosive ‚Äď with Chelsea Pescitelli tweeting directly¬†‚ÄúThis is Amazing!‚ÄĚ

Based on those results, a Cue is inviting the entire city into a campaign to break through these self imposed barriers –¬†#sayhitoastranger¬†will take place on the November 8th¬†weekend and will be circulated through social media platforms in the weeks leading up to the event. The goal is to get as many Vancouver residents as possible to just say ‚ÄėHi!‚Äô to a stranger as they walk by.

Help spread the word by connecting your networks on Social Media: Video(http://youtu.be/vQQRX6feDoA) and Blog Story (www.acue.ca) hashtag #sayhitoastranger

About a Cue Creative Consulting: a Cue Creative Consulting is a Boutique Business located in Vancouver,B.C. owned and operated by Kaare Long with a team of three, Dina Arsenault, Adam Bajan and Kesley Van Lissum. A Cue Specializes in Marketing, Public Relations, Special Events and Business Coaching for Artists and Small Businesses

Media Enquires:

Kaare Long

kaare@acue.ca

604.4343347

 

 

Do The Good Guys Ever Really Win?

The article below was originally published on The Huffington Post Canada and can be found here.

Public shaming has become a widespread disease across the web, infecting comment boxes, blog posts, Facebook statuses and tweets. People are not just politely disagreeing; they are name-calling, ridiculing and taunting. They are bypassing the path of customer service support and instead blasting companies for human error on Facebook, getting their friends to join in and essentially creating an environment that I thought we were trying to keep our children safe from. They are alienating groups of people, hanging them up by their toes and virtually tar-and-feathering them.

As a highly sensitive person who can’t easily shake off the things I find disturbing, I have a tool that prevents me from dismissing the human race as a self-destructive waste of time. I have something that I hold tight to in an effort to enjoy and appreciate life instead of find fault in every experience.

That “something” is¬†kindness. Now, I’m no Dalai Lama, but I do spend a fair chunk of my time thinking, writing, speaking and reading about kindness. By conscious effort, I also practice kindness in more ways now than I ever have before; I have somehow morphed into a Kindness Ambassador. That’s fancy speak for: an ordinary human being who believes in this virtue and seeks to live it.

As a child, I was drawn to human rights issues and felt the world’s problems like a tonne of bricks on my shoulders. As an adult, I am now making my own opportunities to work with organizations that strive to better the lives of others and have been able to incorporate my love of writing on this journey. Being a part of charitable organizations and groups that strive for good keeps me in touch with the best side of humanity.

Image by Taslim Jaffer
Image by Taslim Jaffer

For the purpose of this blog post, I am simplifying things and dividing the world into kind and unkind people. Truthfully, I believe that all people are born as compassionate, loving beings and it is a multitude of factors that may later define their choice to behave differently. (Another blog post entirely.)

Are the actions of those who commit to kindness, futile? Do the “unkind” people outnumber the Kindness Ambassadors?

It can feel that way, sometimes (read:¬†It can feel like banging my head on a brick wall sometimes). When it does, and when I let it get to me, it can put me in a real spin. I question why I do what I do. Am I just spewing feel-good nonsense on my blog that simply vaporizes the minute I publish it? I question if making a conscious effort to foster empathy in my children is worth it. In the end, will they just be hurt by someone who takes advantage of their ‘goodness’. I question if a random act of kindness is really all it’s hyped up to be. Is kindness just a buzz word?

And I always come back to the same thing: My world without kindness would really suck. My world without supporting something good would be a world without hope. I would have nothing beautiful to leave my children. I would have no purpose for being here.

We know that kindness makes us feel good; science has explained why. Performing, receiving and witnessing an act of kindness increases the serotonin level in our brains. Serotonin is a natural ‘feel-good’ hormone that has the same effect as an anti-depressant. Read¬†here¬†for some interesting studies.

Perhaps that is why when Tasneem Damji, a fundraiser and Chair of the Community Outreach Committee at QSI International school in Dushanbe, Tajikistan thanks donors for their financial contributions, she is met with the response, “No, thank YOU for this opportunity to help!”

Kindness makes me feel good — I’m a bit of an addict — and as long as I am actively involved in being kind, encouraging others to be kind, teaching my children about being kind, I can’t get ‘taken in’ by the negativity of the flip side. When I am feeling good, I am better able to care for my family and my community and so the cycle goes.

In writing this article, I turned to one of my great teachers for some perspective. I asked my six-year-old daughter, “Who do you think is more powerful? Someone who does kind things or someone who does unkind things?” Without hesitation she responded, “A kind person because when we are kind our bodies feel good and when our bodies feel good, they get stronger.” I see her logic in the organizations I work with. I see resilient characters who can take meagre circumstances and create large waves of change. They are fuelled by something.

Danisha Bhaloo,¬†Manager of Fund Development at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area, has raised over half a million dollars in charitable funds for various non-profits in numerous capacities. When asked if she ever feels discouraged by the enormity of the work in the field of social change, she stated, “The work is huge and I don’t think I can solve the world’s problems, but if I can make a difference in one person’s life, that’s what it’s about.” She also mentioned being motivated by the hope that comes with doing this kind of work and how that hope spills over into the way she views the world and life in general.

Do the good guys ever really win? Yes.

While the world’s problems may be far from eradicated, the good guys win. They win in health, in happiness, and in the satisfaction that they receive from knowing they have shown up in this world and offered it the best of themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power Of The Retweet

You know that I love charity endeavours. ¬†I have a weak spot for anybody wanting to help someone out of the goodness of their heart (originally spelled that ‘godness’ and on second thought, I could have left it at that). ¬†Not out of pity, not because they are ‘better off’ than anyone else, but simply because they are answering their Soul’s call to be who they truly are – which is pure love.

I feel blessed everyday to see the unique ways that people are shining in their natural state of good.  And one place that I see it a lot?  Twitter!  I follow somewhere around the neighbourhood of half a gazillion charitable organizations and so every time I check in on the twitterverse, I catch some pretty awesome tweets.  And often, I will retweet them.

A short while ago, I received a message from one of my followers (only in 2013 can we say that without it sounding really creepy…). ¬†She wanted to let me know that she caught one of my retweets about a local charity needing volunteers; she felt a tug in this direction and went to a volunteer orientation meeting. ¬†She has been a happy volunteer there since.

Do you see how much power you have? ¬†Social media has made it easy-peasy for you to do good and for others to benefit. ¬†It took me a second to retweet that one message. ¬†It would take you an incredibly short amount of time to send out an uplifting, hopeful message that could change someone’s day around.

So I ask you.  What can you do with your seconds, your minutes, your hours that could potentially positively impact someone else?  When you invest your time in kindness, it always pays both ways.