Saturday, May 23, 2015


The other day I wrote a blog entitled Kindness where I referred to a bored customs agent as 'evil'. A reader challenged me on the use of the word suggesting it's too strong and I had exaggerated the circumstance.  I stewed on this and considered softening the word to 'mean'.

Then I went for a run...

Those of you who are familiar with the intense pleasure of running trails into a rising sun understand the effect on the brain. Garbled thoughts become defragged and are filed and connected. Some are deleted while others simply gel. Colours and memories become vibrant. New ideas crackle like pop rock candy on the tongue. A calmness settles in the brain as heart, legs, and lungs become one. 

...and I reflected on evil.

The word evil in the context of the essay is appropriate. Here's why.

The concept of evil is a continuum ranging from a little evil (e.g. bored custom agent) to a lot of evil (e.g. Hitler). To suggest the word 'evil' be used to only describe the most heinous acts is naive and let's us off the hook. We all commit acts of evil from time to time. Fortunately, most of us show remorse and some may apologize.

When one wilfully degrades, humiliates, bullies, hurts, or excludes another person or group, an act of evil is committed. These are small evils on the continuum, but nevertheless, they are evil. We don't need to look too far to witness this level of evil; we can find numerous examples in the work place, on the streets, in the news media, and on social media to name a few.

The bored security guard is probably a good man most of the time, but make no mistake, he committed an act of evil, low on the continuum, but evil nevertheless.

Just like all of us.

It's a good day to be alive.


Sunday, May 17, 2015


We take them by the hand and lead them to the front of the line.
There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama

I flew out of Pearson the other day and found myself locked in a endless security line. Hundreds of passengers shuffled along the switchback chatting quietly. It was a peaceful line, a community of sorts. I was moments away from a pre-security check when I heard two voices from behind.

"Excuse me please, my plane, I'm late, please excuse me."

Looking back I saw two woman dressed in gorgeous traditional African garb. Their English was broken, yet the anxious tone was universally clear. A wave of human kindness surged trough the line as people waved the women forward. I too obliged and stepped aside with a smile showing my concern.

Our little makeshift community was warmed with universal human kindness. A wake of gratitude trailed the two women as they moved forward closer and closer to their goal.

And then a curveball derailed the goodness.

A bored security agent just in front of me stopped the women. When they explained they were late for their plane the guard replied in  monotone

"It's not my problem" and then averted his eyes.

They were stopped cold. The warm glow of human kindness shattered and all about people glared at the guard.  The kindness of hundreds derailed by the misguided evil of a single individual.  We watched the balance beam tilt toward evil.

And then, as if on cue, another security guard further up the line who had witnessed the evil approached the women. He ignored the first security guard completely and waved to the women

"Follow me" he said, and escorted them to the front of the line.

The running community is like that security line. We perpetuate kindness, we show concern for those in troubled times, we hold our friends' hands when they are frightened, we give support when they are confused, we welcome them into our midst when they feel they do not belong.

And when they are faced with insidious evil, when the pain becomes unbearable, when they feel the walls crumbling, we take them by the hand and lead them to the front of the line.

Reach out to someone who needs you today. Sometimes all we can do is tell them we care. And sometimes that's enough to make it through another day.

Make it a good day for them to be alive, one day at a time.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

The View Curb Side; Winnipeg Police Half Marathon 2015

Please enjoy a curb side view of the Winnipeg Police Services Half Marathon.  I'd prefer a street view but I'm in the penalty box for another week so I run vicariously through all of you beautiful people. Thanks for the brilliant smiles and shouts of unadulterated joy; you made me feel I was trotting along beside you. 

Jo was on the course but I don't have a picture. When I did see her one k out from the finish line we hugged, and that's way better than a picture.  Jo, just so you know, has raised about $20,000 for Cancer Care (and climbing).  

Click em to supersize.

It's a good day to be alive


Oh yes, my friend Connie (second picture from the last) pb'd at 1:45 and change. Sizzling fast.