"Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely." - Roy T. Bennett
It was the kind of cold that made you run to find warmth. Jumping quickly into your car. Darting head down into the office. The deep down to the bone cold that shouldn’t surprise anyone who calls Southern Ontario home. Yet, despite crawling out of comfortable bed, the luxury of a warm, dry coat, and a car with seat heaters, I still found myself cursing Jack Frost. Which was ironic, seeing as where our 5 Days of Kindness was taking me this morning.
Despite my efforts to do and be kind, I was completely lost in my #firstworldproblems. I was overlooking my own privilege. Like a bed. My home. A warm winter coat. A car. My job.
The wish list of items from oneROOF youth shelter had been simple. Supplies to stock the facilities. Like laundry soap, body wash, paper towels, and toilet paper. Things I don’t often think too much about at home.
The frost was still thick on the grass as I pulled into the driveway. The staff invited me inside - where I was welcomed into the warmth of the foyer. They had been expecting me and after some brief chit-chat, we headed out to unload the car. Walking down the steps one of the workers looked at the sky and said: “It’s going to be a busy night.”
That simple comment stopped me in my tracks.
To think of the number of people out on the streets in this cold - and we’re not even in an extreme weather advisory - put an end to all of my whining.
This isn’t about guilt. But it is about perspective, which is an amazing thing. Sure, it’s cold. But, am I really all that cold? I have a bed in my home waiting for me. My coat is dry. I don’t know cold.
Our act of kindness today was small - but the impact could be huge. Youth could come in and wash and dry their jackets, socks, hats, mitts and blankets. They would have the chance to warm up. To find some shelter from the cold. And that’s a kindness that can’t be overestimated.