Here at the Victoria Foundation, we talk a lot about community. In fact, building a “vibrant, caring community for all” is an essential part of our vision. The concept of community is at the core of everything we do.
With that, I believe it’s important to take stock from time to time and think about just what “community” really means, both to the organization, but also to myself, as a member of this community.
The Victoria Foundation promotes Random Act of Kindness Day, which returns to our region on Friday, Nov. 1. This is one of my favourite events we do, primarily because it’s not about any financial or organizational gains, there are no “deliverables” or “ROI” to worry about; it’s simply a day to encourage each of us to do something kind for someone else.
It puts a smile on my face each year to see organizations, businesses, elected officials, families, individuals — anyone and everyone — committing kind acts in the community simply to spread some joy and brighten peoples’ day.
Because what is a community if not the people that it’s made of and the commonalities that unite us all? This can be a divisive world we live in these days, but I’m still a firm believer that we have more in common with one another than we have differences. We may not all look the same or believe the same things or experience life in exactly the same way, but when you actually stop to talk to someone, to take the time to know them, it doesn’t take long to find what we all have in common.
And within a community, you have even more in common with the people you share it with. Here in Greater Victoria, for instance, we share this region’s history and stunning natural surroundings. We all breath the same fresh air, enjoy the same mild climate and gaze out at the same landscapes. We are but a blip in the world’s population and our region is a dot on the map, but there is nowhere else on earth like here and we are united by that which makes us unique.
Random Act of Kindness Day isn’t just about doing something nice for someone else and feeling good about it. That’s a part of it, certainly, but it’s also about seeing the people around you not as strangers, but as neighbours, with whom you share the common bond of our community.
On Friday, Nov. 1, we encourage you to celebrate and strengthen that bond by performing whatever small act you’re able to, because everyone responds to kindness. It brings us even closer together and helps to make this a kinder, caring community of all of us.
For more information on Random Act of Kindness Day, visit victoriafoundation.ca.