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kindness after pain

January 2, 2013

Reading about the kindness response to the school killings in Newtown last month, I’m thinking about how we respond to violent deaths in Nunavut.

Kris Bordessa, aka GeekMom at, describes a challenge to honour each of those 26 deaths with an act of kindness. There has been a huge response, with kindnesses including:

teddy bears sent to surviving siblings, cold weather gear dropped at a homeless shelter, especially generous tips for waitresses, donation of cord blood following the birth of a baby, helping a neighbor with computer issues…

(The article links to a list of more kind actions people are continuing to offer.)

I was sad to hear the reaction, “There’s nothing we can do,” about gun violence which happens here in Nunavut, in a conversation about the Newton tragedy. Bordessa writes:

It’s fair to be angry. It’s fair to wish for an end to senseless violence. It’s fair to discuss the mental health issue and gun control. But we can take a step toward healing by taking positive action and sharing simple kindnesses to honor the lives lost in Newtown. For as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

In this time of heartache let us inspire each other, send out a light, a reminder that as a nation and as a world we are primarily good, kind hearted people.

The amount of death by murder, suicide and accident in Nunavut is overwhelming. When we are not sure what else to do, when we despair and think the worst of humanity, why not start with kindness?

(Thanks to art therapist Gretchen Miller for the link to that article. Gretchen links to other resources and projects promoting kindness, positive change and resilience. One of these is an artist trading card project happening this month – give a little love and inspiration through the mail, and get some back.)

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