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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Canadian Dental Professionals Making The World A Better Place for a Few Hundred Orphans in Colombia!

What did Kindness in Action look like?  Thanks to my good friends at Kindness in Action for sending me some photos!  Kindness in Action is an awesome group of Canadians!  They are a service society made up of incredible people from the Dental professions who are motivated by a belief in the dignity of all people and their right to basic human needs.  They are a non-partisan and entirely volunteer group whose primary focus is dental health.  OK - so the last couple of sentences are pretty much right off their website.

But here's what I think.  My own unedited opinion.  I think they represent the best in all of us, no matter what country we come from!  They're the kind of people who enjoy life and enjoy making somebody else's life a little bit better when and where they can.  It's really amazing to know such fine people! 

How did I come to know them?  Yeah, you guessed it, my dentist & hygienist are part of the group.  They ran into some visa hassles at the last minute, and being the shy, introverted kind of guy I am... I sent an email to the President of Colombia asking for help!  My friends will tell you I'm not exactly shy in that regard. 

Other people got in the game - there was a Senator in Colombia, the Canadian Ambassador in Colombia, the Colombian Consul in Ottawa... everybody pitched in.  And yes, believe it or not, the President's personal secretary answered my email and offered to assist too.  We had it happening from every which way - and it all worked out.  And guess who it worked out for - a few hundred orphans in Colombia.  Excellent!

For my part, I just wanted to do what I could to help.  It was very little of course, I can't provide dental care, that's for sure.  But I do know enough to believe that sometimes, when you write the leader of a country, they will actually answer.  Perhaps not personally, how could they... they've got millions and millions of constituents.  But when people know you are trying to do something for the right reasons, in this case, to help provide dental care to a cool group of Colombian orphans, you know what... people will step up to the plate and help out. 

Somewhere in the President's office, somebody read that e-mail and sent it on to the President's personal secretary who, I'm guessing, mentioned it to the President himself and within a couple of days, we had help from the top!  Everything seemed to start clicking along and it all came together.  And make no mistake about it, I wasn't a key player in any of this.  It's always a group of people who come together to do something fun, something to help our fellow humans.  This is as real as it gets!  I was just a little tiny cog with the audacity of hope and a belief in the good heart of the Colombian people, no matter what their position or station, I love them.  And I want you to know how cool they really are, that's why I'm writing this post.  I also want you to know how cool your fellow Canadians are... the Kindness in Action dental professionals represent the best in all of us.

And here's the best part... anybody can do what I did.  When you're trying to do something to make the World a better place, people can sense that.  They can tell when the feelings are genuine.  Yes, even politicians can be cool!  So this just goes to show that when we take off our partisan colors and act as humans interested in helping our fellow humans - good things do happen.

So I thought I'd post a few photos thanks to these awesome Canadians who were kind enough to share them with me.  For my part, I'm just repeating the wonderful stories, like the little boy who was terrified and cried because he didn't want to get a shot (in the mouth no less).  Now let's face it, none of us like that experience either!  But the little boy made his way through the treatment.  Seeing that it was not so bad, he went around the clinic for the rest of the day holding the hands of the other orphans and reassuring them that it was going to be OK and that it really wouldn't hurt (at least not much).

In a World full of bad news... as they say in the press "if it bleeds it leads" - I thought it would be cool to share a good story.  One that should make us all feel proud to be Canadians... and guess what, even more, one that should make us all proud of our fellow humans who are ambassadors of goodwill.

Thank you Kindness in Action - for all you do.  And thanks to everybody who played a part in making this all a reality.  So many dedicated volunteers, so much work, and guess what, even a little help from a few people who would otherwise have been dealing with the fuss and muss of politics and bureaucracy.  Well guess what, everybody got to feel good about this!

And a special heartfelt thanks to all my friends and family in Colombia for being who you are... the kindest, happiest, and most wonderful people you could ever want to meet anywhere in the World.  And of course, I pay my deepest respect to the personal secretary to President Santos and, yes, to President Santos himself.  I believe he is a good and decent man who is trying to do what is right.  Every politician takes a kicking (don't I know it and I'm only a municipal politician in a small town in Alberta).  But no matter how big or how small we are (and I'm about as small as they get) we are really just as human as anybody else.  We love, we laugh, we hurt, we cry... we are you and you are us.  We are all in this together.

God Bless Kindness in Action!  
God Bless Canada!  
Viva Colombia!  

President Juan Manuel Santos

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