WHAT A GREAT EVENT it was!!! Despite the cloudy skies and rain at times, someone was watching over our event.
Kim Wheatley, a Traditional Grandmother who is Anishinaabe from Shawanaga First Nations Reserve located in Georgian Bay, Ontario kindly led off our event. Kim carries the Spirit Name "Head or Leader of the Fireflower" and is part of the Ojibway and Potawatomi Nations. She is a multi-award winning public speaker, ceremonialist, author, singer, event organizer and cultural consultant known locally, nationally and internationally, Kim continually commits to providing an authentic voice to enhance good relationships to each other and the world we live in. Kim greeted everyone to the event, spoke about the importance of water as the life source for all and sang a beautiful traditional water blessing. Kim's greeting and blessing seemed to part the clouds and bring out some sunshine and held off the rain until just as the event ended!!! Such a special blessing for all of us. Later in the event, Kim shared more of her traditional knowledge about how we need to be kind to all things in nature and how the bridge across the water is a wonderful symbolism of kindness among people.
Following this, the first three T-C Rotary Kindness awards were handed out to very deserving local residents. We will be sharing their stories in our updates over the next few days:
And then, a special treat as Josh Gloster and Charlie Wilson, two grade 8 youth from BVCS, performed a wonderful rendition of Jann Arden's song Try a Little Kindness. They learned how to sing and play the song on guitar and drums strictly from a recording without the benefit of sheet music in less than a month! And they received a well-deserved and resounding applause from the attendees.
Elizabeth (Lib) Kennedy, our club President, and Mayor Alar Soever each had a few words to say about how much our community does exemplify kindness and about the importance of kindness to oneself, to others and to nature, especially now with the challenging times we face.
To close off the event, Mayor Soever and club President Lib Kennedy cut the ceremonial blue ribbon on the bridge with Councillors Peter Bordignon and Andrea Matrosovs standing alongside.
Renaming the bridge for one year is a part of TCR’s Community Kindness Challenge initiative. The renaming received support from the Georgian Cycle and Ski Trail Association, Beaver Valley Outreach and Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce. The Blue Mountains Council approved the temporary name change on October 4th.
The inauguration ceremony was held on World Kindness Day which was launched by the World Kindness Movement in 1998. Canada is one of 27 member nations in the World Kindness Movement whose mission “is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness by connecting nations to create a kinder world”. This movement launched World Kindness Day as a day to promote acts of kindness so as to create a positive and compassionate environment towards all living creatures and to promote peace.
TCR hopes that the community will see The Bridge of Kindness as not only a place of local natural beauty and serenity but also as a reminder of the importance of kind acts, no matter how small, in making our community, and the world, a better place for all.
The bridge renaming is just part of the T-C Rotary's year-long Community Kindness Challenge which kicked off this past July 1st!!
Why kindness? Well, because there is scientific evidence that kindness actually helps to heal us emotionally and physically ... kindness soothes! Repeated acts of kindness decrease pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure, while increasing happiness and lifespan. Yes, there is scientific evidence of this. And, just like laughter, kindness is contagious…so when you are the recipient of an act of kindness, its contagion makes it easier to pay it forward!!!
Since March 2020, Covid has caused much suffering and stress and anxiety around the globe. Our community has not been immune to this (pun intended). We are now, hopefully, seeing the back end of Covid, and life is now slowly starting to return to ‘normal’, whatever that may be going forward. So, we felt this was an opportune time to encourage our community to do more of what it already does well - being kind - because it just happens to be the best treatment for the emotional and physical toll Covid has inflicted on us.
|Let’s challenge ourselves to fully understand and embrace all that kindness is.|
A fascinating point about kindness is that it cannot be sustained without one being kind to oneself first…so let’s start by being kind to ourselves…each and every one of us deserves it! From there, it is a small step to repeatedly being kind to others and sparking a contagion of kind acts like we've not seen before.
Our kindness activities vary month to month and include zoom meetings with special speakers on different aspects of kindness, Kindness Contemplations social media posts weekly, Kindness Treasure Quests and much more. We will shortly be announcing a 2022 Kindness calendar and greeting cards featuring artwork from our local youth at BVCS and GBCS. You can find out more by clicking the monthly menu tabs to the left and by following us on social media at:
@ThornburyClarksburgRotary and @tc_rotary
So be sure to check back regularly and follow us so you don’t miss any of the fun! You can also follow the fun at #tcrcommunitykindness on either Facebook or Instagram.
And we have a tracker (below) that you can download to keep track of acts of kindness you do or you receive or you observe – try to capture one for every week of the year…may they make your heart smile.
Your kindness to me raises me out of my grief.
My kindness to others soothes my body and soul beyond belief.
Sharing our stories of kindnesses done,
treasuring kind words under a smiling sun.
Let the magic of kindness bring us together in unity and, finally, relief.
Join us in the kindness fun.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” - Scott Adams (yes, that Scott Adams, the one of "Dilbert" fame).