Friesen: The sustainability of kindness

A new column about exploring leadership, community values and civil discourse from Kelowna podcaster, Lindsay Friesen

—Lindsay Friesen

In it’s most sophisticated forms, sustainability is a set of principles offering guidance to organizations, governments, and community leaders for an abundant and prosperous future. In it’s most basic form, sustainability is kindness.

It was only a few weeks ago that our community was in the midst of a formal season of kindness. The year-end is also a time to meet deadlines and achieve goals, weeks or months in the making. And while you consider those efforts in your own terms of success, in the midst of the human heart there is always reserved a space of kindness, for all.

How will this reserve be filled in this new year? As an individual and as a community, will this be a season of kindness and generosity in your life and in the lives of those you touch? Reflecting on your most important relationships, what milestones are you planning to celebrate this year? In 12 months, how many more of us will be giving thanks for a year of opportunity, well-being, and success? A year from now, some will be lamenting a year of struggle, setback or denial. Regardless, however you wish to see it, much of what we experience then, begins now. And so, what of kindness?

For this post, I am choosing to focus on a small organization in Kelowna called Happipad. I see them as a small, carefully considered effort, of how the “K” in Kelowna can represent kindness for all of us this year.

Here’s a description of what they do, taken from their website:

We are on a mission to define, enable, and promote home sharing between compatible people. What makes two people compatible is complex and can be a combination of many factors, including ethnicity, culture, food, interests and hobbies, or even sleep patterns. We listen to what is important to people so that they can find a compatible housing companion.

One of the qualities I like about Happipad, is that they seek to actively restore connection between individuals. With the cost of housing increasing, and the decline in available rental stock, we are ripe for conversations on how to provide long-term housing solutions, as a community. Happipad is having those conversations, and going beyond, by providing a market-ready solution.

Here’s another excerpt from their website, talking about their motivations:

We are inspired by the magical effect that home sharing can have on people. When people share a home, they become more empathetic, they help each other, and they connect. When done right, we believe that home sharing can address housing affordability issues and make our communities healthier and more inclusive. At the end of the day, we want to make the world a little better for future generations.

Choosing Kindness Together

You may be asking yourself what you can do to impact the planet, or redress some of the disorder in the world that is seemingly around every corner these days. Sustainability offers a way to think about how to do those things. It gives everyone a common language for how to talk about the issues we face. I would like to go one step further and suggest that the way we talk about our challenges is, in itself, a crucial measure for outcomes since action, alone, is always out-performed by action, together. And while most measures of success lie in the domain of action, it is the charity and compassion found in our shared language that becomes the mark and measure from which all action flows. In this way, I see Cailan and the team at Happipad combining kindness and the art of communication for a true articulation of sustainability in our community.

As a final comment, in the coming weeks As We Speak and Happipad will be posting content celebrating the domestic life, and all the comforts of food, shelter, and clothing. In the meantime, may your belly be full, your hearts and home – happy and warm, and your body, well-adorned.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Five-goal outburst leads Vees to victory

The Penticton Vees continued their march to the playoffs with a 5-2 win over the Warriors, Tuesday.

Council voices approval of brewery patio expansion

City council unanimously voted in support of Cannery Brewing’s 199 person capacity patio.

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Like many in British Columbia, you may be worried about running into… Continue reading

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

NHL prospects returning to Penticton for Young Stars Classic

After a one-year absence the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is returning… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protests in support of Wet’suwet’en continue at B.C. government buildings

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Summerland’s proposed budget requires $16,382,355

2020 budget is nearly half a million higher than the 2019 municipal budget of $15,905,410

UBC Okanagan art students to improve the environment one project at a time

The Ecosine Art Group uses non-purchased, recyclable mediums for 50 per cent of their art

Disability proves no barrier for 12-year-old Kelowna sit skier

Samuel is a 12-year-old double leg amputee who independently sit-skis

West Kelowna man charged with attempted murder of 79-year-old mother back in court

Kevin Lee Barrett was charged in April 2019 after allegedly beating his mother, leaving her stranded

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Hudson’s Bay spotlights old Vernon store

Old downtown department store remembered fondly

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Highway 1 closed near Golden

DriveBC estimates the road to reopen at 1 p.m.

Most Read