Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

29 March 2012

Brantford "Small town feel ... Big city vibe"


Friends and associates in a vast array of circles likely tire of me talking about the fantastic things happening in Brantford. Some have told me so. Some I can just sense it in for a number of not very good reasons. Reasons like:

  • I choose to be negative about my city
  • I don't believe it's as good as you think it is
  • I'm mad that it's not happening in MY city
  • You're not unique because it IS happening in MY city too
  • Dave... you talk too much

Only the last one has any legitimacy, but these are not unfamiliar sentiments.

There is mutual agreement among those of us who are working hard to bring a holistic (Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts) renewal to our city that the biggest issue that IS being overcome, but has held our city back, is what we think/speak/believe our city. For many years it was drastically negative. Too many conversations started with:

"Well since 'The Combine' left town..."


... referencing the loss of Massey Ferguson in the early 80's that did lead to quite a number of bleak economic years. But it's been MANY years since 'The Combine' left town. Today's Brantford is not the Brantford of the 60's and 70's. In fact... it's better. Because today we have a talented group of passionate young thinkers reinventing a city for the 21st Century... committed to valuing EACH area of influence and working TOGETHER.

Last week, our mayor held a breakfast meeting and invited leaders from many areas of the community to which I was thrilled to be included. Leaders from business, politics, social service, the private & public sector, the Church and more sat around tables and brainstormed the best things about Brantford. It was an exercise aimed at getting on the same page, understanding each other, and coming up with positive statements we could ALL begin to galvanize around to fuel the task of changing the way our city thinks/speaks/believes about itself and is perceived in the nation abroad.

We heard this from MP Phil McColeman that Brantford already has a fantastic reputation on a national stage.




We heard from the arts community that is finding the city is anxious and hungry for cultural development. On the church front, as I've written about many times, we're seeing an unprecedented level unity among churches combined with a desire to serve the city that is gaining the attention of the church community on a national level. I personally shared the story of 3 couples I sat down with within a week's time-span who are young, professional, new residents to the city. All 3 echoed astoundingly similar sentiments.

"It's a lovely place to live. Kind people... and it's big enough to be big but small enough to feel small. I love it here"


For me... this was invigorating to hear because over the last decade, MANY of us have worked in various sectors of the community (sometimes in obscurity) to see the transformation of our city's "feel". For people with no past-baggage to see it, revel in it and be even telling friends about it unprovoked... it was significant for me.

After the mayor's breakfast was over, the idea's phrasing came out like this:




I watched community leaders Tweeting it, Facebooking it and even heard them discussing it at coffee shops. It began discussions and in some cases even arguments as it confronted some of the contrary negative philosophies listed above. But it's to be expected for when men are challenged to speak life instead of the habitual death we're accustomed to sometimes; it's initially an internal conflict. But it's POWERFUL when we rise above it.

Proverbs 18:21 says:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.


I think it goes both ways. Speaking LIFE brings life to both you, and that which you speak it about. Speaking death... well... I'll let you do the math. As for me and my hometown. I CHOOSE to speak, believe and LIVE life fully and free. Today the Downtown BIA asked the question, "Why do you love Brantford?" Here was my answer.




Brantford:

Small town feel... Big city vibe.
I believe my city is a prosperous city.
Pass it on.

27 March 2012

Guess what Screwtape said to Wormwood about prayer?


"Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce FEELINGS there by the action of their own wills. When they meant to ask HIM for charity, let them, instead, start trying to manufacture charitable feelings for themselves and not notice that this is what they are doing. When they meant to pray for courage, let them really be trying to feel brave. When they say they are praying forgiveness, let them be trying to feel forgiven. Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment."

CS Lewis ~ The Screwtape Letters

26 March 2012

I'm challenged by Bob Dylan today


I'm challenged by Bob Dylan's "The Times they are a changin'" today:



Today this song makes me righteously unsettled.
What precious little nothings do I need to give up to keep moving forward?
Today is good but I can feel my joints forming more rust than I'm comfortable with.
The waters have grown, the walls are rattling and the battle is ragin'
God keep me changin'

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

22 March 2012

"We're like... SO broken up"



Often on my lunch break when the weather is warm, I'll drive over to a park that overlooks the City of Hamilton. I'll recline my seat, roll down the windows, close my eyes and just soak in the sounds for a while.

I always hope for peaceful sounds of birds, distant horns and sirens from the downtown below and the pleasant chit chat of strollers. Today I had the "fortune" of having what was likely an 18 year old couple pull up beside me... to fight. Oh Joy.

"We're like... SO broken up" she shouted like a Jersey Shorian. "I only came up here to tell you what an a*****e you are and to give you back your s**t!"
"Oh you're not going anywhere until you tell me where you were yesterday when you said you were at f*****g MacDonalds" he cleverly retorted.
She, now in a full out reality show flap screamed, "I was at f*****g MacDonalds with my sister and you're a ...."

It went on from there.

They were aware of the presence of others but really didn't care as the wave of emotion swept them away into deep waters. They violently hurled the minutia of life at each other like mini throwing stars, causing walls of defense to be raised and counter-attacks of half truth and hurt-arrows to be launched. Over the course of an hour, they had drawn battle lines & accepted the terms on the line, waged war, mutually lost, wept together and signed the treaty. After overcoming MacDonalds-Gate and clearly recommitting their undying love to one another, they made out in the car... while park-walkers peered, giggled and judged.

All I could think was... "I wish that this kind exchange was an unfamiliar one to me." It was the drama of young relationships that is somewhat inescapable. Everything seems larger than it is and sensitivity is heightened because the emotion of love is such a strong one; and perilously troding on uncharted ground can leave even the best of us feeling exposed and susceptible to even uncharacteristic volatility.

I hope they make it. I hope they learn to speak well of each other. I hope they learn to take a deep breath before making accusations. I hope they learn to make love a choice; instead of a feeling. I hope that they don't make "breaking up" a threat in war. Whether we'll admit it or not... we all deal with some degree of insecurity and need to know that the person on our team is committed to being there. I hope for these two because I've been there and I know that with right choices, they can make it too. Being young is tough.

“It is currently said that hope goes with youth, and lends to youth the wings of a butterfly; but I fancy that hope is the last gift given to man, and the only gift not given to youth. Youth is pre-eminently the period in which a man can be lyric, fanatical, poetic; but youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged: God has kept that good wine until now.”

—G. K. Chesterton

19 March 2012

So a guy walks into a prayer room and says, "I'm not happy with what I've done this year"



Randy Bohlender from his book "Jesus Killed my Church"

"As I stood to the side of the prayer room, holding my three month old daughter, my back against the wall in more ways than one, I got gut level honest with the Lord. Whispering my confession in prayer, I told Him everything. "I'm not happy with what I've done this year... I'm so disappointed."

In a moment, I heard the Whisper. I've heard it before. I actually think it speaks quite often but I'm usually too busy to take notice. It's not an audible voice, though I'd love it to be. Though technically silent, it echoed within me.

"I know you're not happy with what you've done this year.... but what do you think about what I'VE done?"

The Voice was comfortable with my silence - He had no compulsion to say any more. He had enjoyed a very good year. Babies born. Friendships formed. Vision dropping like stars into our dreams at night.

Then it hit me. We didn't do everything we wanted to this year, but He certainly did everything He wanted. God is always at work, even in our shortcomings. Even in our supposed failures. Our failures (can be) the rich seedbed of opportunity for His greatness to be revealed.

If the hand of God was at work in all things, then I wanted to learn to perceive Him in real time, even when things didn't go as I planned. I wanted to live with a grateful heart, knowing that the summary of my life would not be what I did but rather what He did in my proximity, which I could neither cause nor thwart."

The summary of my life will not be what I do; but rather what God does in my proximity. Lord hear my prayer.

15 March 2012

You are being sold based on your ... Greed and Fear


I love love LOVE The Dragons Den. It's the most reality of any reality show around. It is a rare glimpse into the world of high level business thinking that has more influence over our society than we think.

Last night on the show, there was a pitch from a very genuine mother who's son Wyatt struggled to find the motivation to read. So she created a solution to a problem like a good business does. It's a wonderful learning game called "UKloo" that made reading a fun thing. Bruce Croxon who defines his entrepreneurial philosophy as “serendipity mixed with smarts" had an emotional connection to the plight because his son struggled in a similar way. He didn't invest however because he realized that he couldn't make money from it. The Simon Cowell of Dragons Den, Kevin O'Leary was also intrigued. When asked how many products like this existed, O'Leary repeated "Many many many many many..." He correctly indicated that major toy retailers do not want to (or have the time) to talk to one person and hear that person's individual story. It's not that they don't care as an individual, it's just that quickly buy products from a few larger companies because they know it will sell and the strategic legwork will have already been done. O'Leary tweeted:




Then O'Leary told HIS personal story that made me nod in agreement and my wife get angry. He said that he has made TONS of money off of the fear of parents... petrified that their kids will not measure up. He offered the business owner a deal for 50% of the game and guaranteed her a mass amount of return based on 2 phone calls he'd make because it was a good product. She declined the offer because she didn't like his attitude. My wife agreed vehemently. But he was the only one who made an offer because he was the only one honest enough to speak what the others were thinking out loud. O'Leary warned her that one person hawking one product is a nightmare scenario that he's seen time and time again. She was not angry because she came away with a better market understanding and tweeted this great report last night.




No hard feelings... because he spoke honestly to her about what she needed to do to succeed in this market and it seems like she has since does just that! Well done Ukloo!

I want to say that my wife's assessment of Kevin as a jerk is both right and wrong. He WAS harsh but shoot... later in the show the 'compassionate' Arlene crowned a lady as a the worst pitch in the history of Dragons Den because she talked too fast! What Kevin said is 100% correct when it comes to how we are CONSTANTLY being SOLD from every side. Keven O'Leary is not a LONE jerk. He just speaks out loud the reality of the thoughts behind how MANY decisions high level influential are made... and gives us a peek at how YOU are being spun into believing things... whether you realize it or like it or not. And it makes for great TV and he's making money by doing it. And for many of the things he says and does regarding the market... I think Kevin is brilliant and principled. It's not that he doesn't care either... he's even made a show called Redemption Inc where he help people get a second chance as entrepreneurs. Props.

Our markets are driven (openly) by something called the "Greed and Fear Cycle" Check it out in all it's "splendor"



They are likely the two most powerful and controlling human emotions. We're being pushed and pulled by them ALWAYS... if we allow ourselves to be. I once had a creative meeting with a Life Coach who sat across from me and told me blatantly that she wanted to speak directly to the richest people she could find and intentionally play on their statistically analyzed insecurities (and those with money have just as many if not more) and make them so fearful that they'd lose it all (greed) if they didn't come running to her as the answer to their question. Then her plan was to string them along and make them dependent on her. I nearly Ralphed right there on the boardroom table. She did it. It succeeded.

And as incensed as you are... ask yourself the hard questions about why you'd like a bigger TV... or stress at night about not putting enough in RRSP's ... or insist on Dr Pepper over Dr Zip... or look at yourself in the mirror and think that your tummy roll makes you lesser... or think that a political party is pure evil. Answer: The fear based spin machine. It's crazy and YOU'RE IN IT. You're inside the generator wheel and are propagating it's survival.

Yesterday in the National Post, there was an INCREDIBLE article about former Liberal Prime Ministerial candidate Michael Ignatieff on his election annihilation academic thoughts. His observations are very astute.


In a speech lamenting the vicious tone of the attack ads used against him, former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff on Tuesday told a law school audience that his party did the same thing to Stephen Harper, unfairly tarring him as a dangerously right-wing, American-style political extremist, bent on undoing cherished Canadian values.

“We attempted to deny him standing, and now he has taken his revenge. That is where we are,” Mr. Ignatieff said at York University’s Osgoode Hall. Mr. Harper “seized the centre and moved it 10 degrees to the right and now we have to seize it back.”

“Politics is a game with words. I played it a little and it isn’t Scrabble. It’s more like war, with words as weapons,” he said. “The outcome turns on a linguistic mystery, the weird things that words do to the human heart.”

Once notoriously dry and verbose in his speech, if not his writing, Mr. Ignatieff famously became a better and more natural public speaker during the course of a national bus tour, keeping his lines short and his answers direct.

The transformation showed him that the basic transaction in politics is linguistic, and that politics is a “sub-verbal form of impulse buying,” with strategies like those used to sell soap.

“Politics is a game with words. I played it a little and it isn’t Scrabble. It’s more like war, with words as weapons,” he said. “The outcome turns on a linguistic mystery, the weird things that words do to the human heart.”


Fascinating. What are they takeaways?

1) Resist the temptation to say, "The World is going to hell in a hand-basket" It's not. It's in the process of being redeemed through it's people finding redemption. We're agents of change and freedom; called to show kindness and live life BESIDE each other walking towards good.

2) Business and Politics and Advertising and Marketing and Communications are IMPORTANT. They are areas where Christians with a heart for transformation SHOULD venture into because societies are shaped by them.

3) Don't get jaded. Learn, observe and understand the workings of men and the culture you're in. Life there... not in lala land. Use wisdom to be an agent of positive change. And for goodness sake don't EVER be motivated by either greed or fear to do ANYTHING. Always be aware that you ARE being spun, but realize that because there is GOOD in this world, there is good inside the spin somewhere. Analyze the spin from each side of the argument and make YOUR decisions with clarity.

4) Take heart and live graciously & confident. I read an interview with the Pope about 4 years ago regarding the coming economic crisis that Europe has experienced the full brunt of these last few years. Regarding the economy the Pope said, “Built on sand.” and that only the works of God have “solid reality.” Referring to Matthew 7, the Pope said,

"He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand. We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing. All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God’s words are a solid reality.”


With that kind of firm foundation for life... seeds of fear doesn't get room to germinate.

13 March 2012

A new look at Conservatism



What a "Conservative" really IS and what one SHOULD BE is a hot topic these days.

On March 10th, the National Post's Andrew Coyne wrote a provoking article called "Question isn’t where conservatism is going, but where has it gone" giving an impassioned voice to a segment of the political right that wishes for even less spending, tax and regulation with more individual freedom. Some from the right shouted Amen while others balked at his notions (see today's National Post letters). I find this dialogue all SO interesting and delightful really as I think we SHOULD subscribe principally to a methodology/ideology and then work from within that... adding our voices to collectively massage the daily duties of governing depending on the needs of of the day. It's far from a perfect process (which is why many shy away from taking a stand) but hey... that's democracy! It's pretty good when it works and it only works when we respectfully participate.

February 4th in the Sun Media newspapers, Warren Kinsella wrote an editorial about our need to put faith, when it comes to societal revival, in Non-Governmental Organizations. Some excellent points were made! He noted that:

"Trust in banks and financial institutions has never been lower — and trust in government has gone into an “unprecedented” decline. Meanwhile, for the fifth year in a row, 'NGOs are the most trusted institution in the world.'"



Now... I DO think government and the population need to spend some time in relationship counseling to repair trust. AND I'm thankful that we HAVE managed our banking system prudently thus preventing widespread national economic hardship. And I think Kinsella is quite right about the high value of NGO's. But then he said something that bugged me. He said that Conservative partisans don't want to hear this because it "challenges their entire worldview." That's where I take issue with Warren regarding Conservatism. Let's break it down to it's bare bones and take away the pet issues of the day. Allow me to step up on my political soap box for a moment.


Conservatism's plan is people taking care of people.
Liberalism's plan is government taking money from people and taking care of people for us.

Both are well meaning. Both involve care for others. Both one resonates more completely for me.

Conservatism believes in government assuring the framework is there for business to be strong... so business can be generous. Conservatism believes in government assuring the freedoms of the individual... so individuals can be generous. Conservatism believes that people can take care of people more effectively (AND cost effectively) than government can. NGO's are simply groupings of passionate people with a heart to take care of one another! Which is great! That's the plan! It SHOULD be the ideal in ANY scenario.

The Left's strategy to paint "Conservatives" as uncaring is a misleading one. I actually believe it's WORSE than misleading. I find it to be an ideology that undercuts the empowerment of people. It says blatantly that they, as leaders, don't have trust in those they are leading. Politics aside... that's a textbook-poor leadership principle. In doing so, the habitual lack of trust and facilitation robs us of our own personal social responsibly that we all NEED to be complete people and effective members of a community.

This to me is SO important because it's this very responsibility that we seem to have abdicated as a society because of our assumptions that it's the government's job to do this and that FOR us. Even in well-meaning attempts at care, it minimizes and handicaps real people instead of empowering them. I look forward to seeing NGO's, churches, non-profits and groups of empowered Canadians revolutionizing this nation with kindness. This change in mindset could change our land for the better. PEOPLE taking care of PEOPLE? Think about the ripples economically, socially... even spiritually. Our Governor General David Johnson has some WONDERFUL things to say about how everyday philanthropy of regular Canadian's time, talent and treasure is a key to growing this nation.

I support the party(s) that best principally reflects how I believe principally about life. I don't support it because it (or anyone in it) is the savior. Neither do I find any party to be a perfect paradigm fully reflecting the full scope of my beliefs. This is why I reserve my hope for higher place than politics. But I believe people get into politics because they DO care... not because they don't. That's why I have friends who represent the whole political spectrum. I respect them for caring and I believe the feeling to be mutual. I think it's VERY important to be analytical and strategic about the best way to make sure our land is glorious and free... and be ready to work hard for it in every sphere that influences our society including politically.

"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
John Diefenbaker

12 March 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On


Pre WWII, England was dreading the idea of ANOTHER long, destructive and costly war. They knew what it meant as they had JUST begun to recover from the LAST one and no one was anxious to relive it. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, calling it "peace in our time," made an attempt to appease Adolf Hitler. History has shown it to be a horrible strategic error.

One of my heroes Winston Churchill as a parliamentarian said to Chamberlain:

"You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.”


And what a war they had. Churchill soon became the Prime Minister and realized that his people were in for what were sure to be tough years.

"By early 1939 there was concern that the next war would be a 'war of nerves' involving the civilian population, and that the government would need to go further than ever before with every means of publicity utilized and coordinated as it fought against a well-funded and established Nazi machine"
Wikipedia


A leader... Churchill rose to the occasion. And the people rose with him.





The famed British Ministry of Information covered the land with what they identified to be keys to the role of the civilian, not only to be able to survive the coming physical onslaught, but also to be able to be in the right frame of mind to continue living a life of freedom POST war. This was their strategic message:




Only the 2 posters on the right ACTUALLY made it into circulation with the most famous one, "Keep Calm and Carry On," being discovered undistributed many years later. The woman who became know as "The Queen Mum", Elizabeth wife of King George VI, embodied these principles better than anyone. September 7th 1940: German bombs killed about one thousand civilians, mostly in the East End of London. On September 13th 1940 the King and Queen narrowly avoided death when two German bombs exploded in a courtyard at Buckingham Palace while they were there. In defiance, the Queen famously declared:

"I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel we can look the East End in the face.”


She stayed calm and carried on with unshakable resolve. During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public. Hitler described her as "the most dangerous woman in Europe” because of her attitude. She remained loved until her death in 2002.

Nobody LIKES hard times. In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings when Frodo Baggins, who was tasked with a life of hard times, was at his lowest... he had this powerful exchange with the very wise and calm Gandalf.

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us


David lived an extraordinary life. During much of his era of writing, he was being harassed by King Saul. The beautiful Psalm 27 was written in the context of war. More of a manhunt really. And David's attitude speaks so highly about why he was successful both in the moment of trial and subsequently in the future.

When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me,my heart will not fear;though war break out against me,even then will I be confident
Ps 27:2-3


In verse 9 David states that God HAS been his helper in the past. He cites past instances where he's already seen God do amazing things. He also declares and believes (v2) that his enemies WILL fail in their attempts to get him. Our struggle isn't against other men. Even when it IS it ISN'T. Ephesians 6:12 assures us that the struggle is a spiritual/attitude thing. Our job is to find truth... and contend for it.




Our job is the same as Churchill's was. It's the same as David's was. Our job is find truth and live it... and to Keep Calm and Carry On allowing God to do the amazing things He loves to do.

8 March 2012

The Kindness Equation : The Brant Advocate March 2012


***My March 2012 article in The Brant Advocate. The story behind of the story of this article is that I desperately wanted to write about politics... then about honoring authority... then about a dozen other things. But when I prayed about it, I knew that God wanted me to stay "On Message". I hope you enjoy "The Kindness Equation" You can find all my Advocate Articles here.***


I babble incessantly, both publicly and privately, about how kindness can change Brantford BY good INTO good. Sometimes when people hear the message that falls of my mouth, like I’m compulsively pulling my own Chatty Cathy string, they often prematurely swoon without much critical-analysis or introspection. Other times folks doubt seriously that a tiny token from a stranger has legitimate post-modern transformational powers.

One question that is important to answer is the issue of what kindness ACTUALLY is. Is it something you DO or something that you ARE? Let’s hit the kindness Home Button and dissect what this elusive word means. Believe it or not, it’s a somewhat tricky word to get to the bottom of. The most common definition is:

Kindness = “Showing benevolence”

Bah… a big word. I hate it when you go digging and find a big word. Let’s go further. What does benevolence mean?

Benevolence = “The disposition to do good”

Drat. Onward ho. So what does disposition mean?

Disposition = “The predominant tendency of one’s spirits;
natural mental and emotional outlook or mood”

Quite a rabbit trail to figure out a term we all know but struggle to understand. Let’s go back up the word-ladder and piece the puzzle together.

Your disposition is more or less the state of your spirit. The way you ARE on the inside. It’s your life’s default setting. This is a key to understanding how everyday kindness can be sustained and transformational. The truth is that if we’re honest, our disposition is not always the greatest. DOING an act of kindness here and there is not that difficult, but dealing with the deeper issues that go into creating one’s disposition is a tougher nut. There we’ll find a concoction of our issues that will either propel us towards authenticity and sustenance, or impede us from pursuing a life fueled by OTHERS instead of ourselves. Now we’re peeling back some onion layers Shrek.

The good news is that we CAN control our disposition. We need to recognize what it is and allow it to be transformed. As the book of Romans says, “renewing of your mind” to be in a GOOD place. It takes some work sometimes. You have to choose to begin acting how you wish you acted and get ready to feel a disposition change.

That brings us back to benevolence. Changing our disposition, so that our motivational default setting is on GOOD, enables us to be genuinely benevolent. Disposition either opens or closes the Benevolence-gate. Kindness however, real kindness, is in the DOING.

Dave’s Kindness Equation:
Kindness is an act of goodness out of a heart motivated by goodness.

The answer to the question of “Is kindness something you ‘Do’ or something that you ‘Are” is that’s it’s something you do BASED on what you are. Take note that both our disposition AND the acting on it BOTH require discipline and intention. The 18th Century Philosopher Edmund Burke said

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”


But how does this equation change a city? A nation? The world?

Drew Dudley of Nuance Leadership Development Services, and former Leadership Development Coordinator at the University of Toronto, believes leadership is not a characteristic reserved for the extraordinary. He also believes that kindness plays a role in freeing others onto an end of macro-transformation. He said recently that it’s almost frightening to some when they come to realize the degree of impact that we can have on people. He believes that if we make leadership about changing the world, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day from ourselves. How can one act of kindness today change the world? Dudley says:

“There is no world. There’s only 6 billion understandings of it. If you change one person’s understanding of how powerful an agent of change they can be… you’ve changed the whole thing”


We’ve habitually lulled ourselves into believing that answers to our city’s large issues only come through political grappling and crippling amounts of resource used on second-best solutions. You and I hold the optimal plan for the transformation mankind deeply desires in our own two hands… if we’re willing to open them.


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