Reason #3: Kindness across boundaries

Categories:Projects
Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

*cino needs YOU to vote each day in December to help us win a $50,000 grant to renovate the old kindergarten room at Huss School! Why vote? Read on…
Reason #3: An all-ages art venue will help unite members of our community across racial, economic, age and other social barriers.

Kindness trumps greed: it asks for sharing. Kindness trumps fear: it calls forth gratefulness and love. Kindness trumps even stupidity, for with sharing and love, one learns. 


Marc Estrin 
qtd. in Prayers for a Thousand Years

Every day that we go about our routine habits without pushing beyond our comfort zones, we miss out on the potential fullness of life. Children are segregated by age in their schools and the elderly are relegated to nursing homes where they are cared for by paid staff. The poor patronize the only grocery store accessible by walking or public transportation, while the wealthy exercise their freedom of movement by driving to the upscale establishment of choice. Skin color funnels us into certain churches, neighborhoods and social gathering spaces.
What might happen in a small, diverse rural city if a new inclusive space opened up right in the heart of an under-served neighborhood? What might a struggling single mother and a wealthy widow learn from one another? What might a respected elder of the black community be able to teach a rebellious white teenager? We dream that the activities at Huss School might provide foundations for bridge-building by appealing to participants of various ages, races and economic backgrounds. We dream that interactions in the space will be guided by kindness and compassion, so that we might all overcome our fears of the “other” to reach a place of mutual respect and seek justice for all side by side.

Author:
Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.