Archive for October, 2011

Century Ride for Flawless Foundation

Monday, October 24th, 2011

10-24-11Children have all sorts of challenges and obstacles they have to overcome during the course of their youth and adolescence. Many of these problems are the result of lack of parental involvement, or worse yet, despicable involvement. There is hope for every child as well as finding the perfection in every child and the Flawless Foundation is doing just that.
I had the pleasure of attending, over a year ago, a Flawless Foundation seminar, with Dr. Stuart Ablon. The seminar was pure brilliance as Stuart walked the audience through the importance of Collaborative Problem Solving. It is a method to use in communicating with kids and especially where there is a breakdown in dialogue between parent and child.   In seeing all of the good, since our meeting, that is achieved, by Flawless, with kids who have neurodevelopmental and mental health issues, some of them because of Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse, they are the ones I chose to honor on my Century Ride today.

The Power of a Mantra

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Breaking the cycle of Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse takes inner strength. Whether it comes from a strong desire to change one’s learned behavior, a want for a better life for children or knowing that the abusive life you grew up with shouldn’t be passed on.
In meeting Nawang Khechog a few days ago, part of our conversation was about a Tibetan Buddhist monk mantra; Om mani padme hoong. This mantra has profound effects when repeated thousands of times.  Chanting a mantra, saying a prayer or stating one’s desires over and over can have some powerful results…a positive wanting for an event to occur for someone, something or oneself. Breaking the cycle in a family might just be broken by an individual convincing oneself by chanting, “I won’t be predator like my father,” thousands of times.
Today’s summer-like weather made riding The Kindness Bicycle a joy. Thousands of people were able to get a firsthand view and learn of my mission.
Thank you to Richard and Lisa for their generous support and sincere interest in helping the message of my mission continue to spread.

Occupy Kindness

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

10-22-11There is so much happening in this world of ours in a very big hurry. Most of it for the good, or so it may seem. The one thing for sure is that people want to get back to a point where respect and honor have meaning in their everyday lives. They want kindness to occupy their hearts.
With all of the “Occupy” events now happening in nearly every part of the country and some parts of the world, I thought that The Kindness Bus Tour should have an “Occupy Kindness” event. The effect started as I brought the “Occupy Kindness” sign out of the door of the bus. A small Chinese contingency took pictures of me holding the sign and putting it in place on the hood of The Kindness Bus. As I sit here typing this blog, off in the distance I can see the flash of a camera every so often, taking a picture of the sign. The sign has been in place for nearly four hours and I have personally seen over 50 photographs taken. I think I will put this sign in place, on the hood of The Kindness Bus, every chance I get.
Today was a shortened day on The Kindness Bicycle, there was a college football game in town and my objective was to get as many views as possible. Staying stationary, for the most part, was the key to having this captive audience view the signs on The Kindness Bicycle.

Coffee Karma

Friday, October 21st, 2011

10-21-11Early mornings call for strong measures to get me up and going on The Kindness Bicycle; a strong measure of coffee that is. My Century Rides take about nine hours, plus breaks and stopping along the way to talk to interested individuals can add up to twelve hours or more. Luckily Boulder seems to have a coffee shop on every block. The best spot in town to have coffee brewed as you wish is Ozo Coffee. The staff is as good as it gets, even in the very early hours. One of the crew told me he has been seeing The Kindness Bicycle all over Facebook. I met Justin the owner of Ozo today. He likes the goal of One Million Acts Of Kindness that he already had put a Kindness Sticker on his van. He also added one to the door of his shop to greet his customers. The karma was immediate as he watched customers hold the door for one another. If you are ever in Boulder, go to Ozo and witness some coffee karma.
Today’s short ride of twenty miles was just what I needed; after riding three Century Rides in a week, I took a much deserved break.

Riding 100 Miles for the Bravery of Johanna Orozco

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

10-20-11Johanna Orozco is a Dating Violence survivor. I learned of her story on a recent visit to the Domestic Violence and the Child Advocacy Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Johanna dated a young man in high school and soon after, he started controlling her. When things became too much for her to handle, she broke ties with him. His violent side surfaced, culminating with him shooting Johanna in the face. Johanna has had twelve surgeries to replace her chin which took the full force of the shotgun blast.
Johanna now works for the DVCAC, traveling to schools talking to students about her story and safe dating practices. She is a brave woman, helping students to be aware of how bad it can get in a relationship. Helping to keep kids safe from the too many bad choices that are far too commonplace out in the streets in her city.
I thought of the story of Johanna as I rode these 100 miles today. I wondered how there could have been a different outcome. Then I saw the sign on the back of The Kindness Bicycle which reads; “Respect for women is one of the greatest gifts a father can show to a son”

The Business Case to End Partner Violence

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

10-19-11Susan and Bob Nitzberg saw me near The Kindness Bicycle and the level of interest showed on their faces. Susan is a consultant with Standing Firm, a firm that helps to prevent Partner Violence from entering the workplace. This firm, based in Pittsburgh, PA works with employers in southwest Pennsylvania to Recognize, Respond and Refer when it comes to the possibility of a partner, of one of the firm’s employees, coming to the place of business to cause harm. Standing Firm is all about prevention, by educating company executives and employees what warning signs to watch for. With Domestic Violence being so pervasive in our society, no company is immune to it happening on their campus. Standing Firm’s business model needs to spread throughout our country.
Bogart had a big day by taking control of the employees of a local bank. Wendy, Dan, Michelle and Bonnie, employees of the bank came out to meet him in The Kindness Bus parked across the street from their branch. They brought a care package for both of us and even dog sat Bogart at the bank for a couple of hours while I was out riding The Kindness Bicycle. I arrived back a little earlier than I promised allowing Bogart to make his getaway before he ended up in prison stripes. Thank you to everyone at Vectra Bank for their help and generosity.

“Awakening Kindness”

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

10-18-11Riding The Kindness Bicycle back to The Kindness Bus to give Bogart one of his many breaks during my daily ride, I came upon Nawang Khechog, a very respectful Tibetan man. Nawang and I toured the outside of The Kindness Bus, talking about the hundreds of writings on its exterior. He was primarily interested in the writings which contained the words, kindness and love. He showed me one of his many books he carried in his bag and one of his favorite quotes; “The greatest of these is love,” he was surprised when I showed him that it was written on the bus. Nawang was a monk for eleven years and has studied as a student of the Dalai Lama. To be able to visit with this gentle, caring man for nearly three hours and learn of some of his kindhearted beliefs was a true honor.
Nawang’s current book, “Awakening Kindness,” which is now endorsed by ten Nobel Peace Laureates, teaches our limitless capacity for kindness, compassion and love. He is a Grammy-nominated musician and has been praised internationally for his musical genius.  I was thrilled that Nawang took the time to write on The Kindness Bus, the words;
“Om mani padme hoong” which translated, basically means, “May no being know suffering and may all be kind to each other.”
This teaching needs to spread across the globe in a hurry.
Today’s short ride of 30 miles was a breeze in perfect riding weather. The Kindness Bicycle is getting thousands of views each day. My favorite view was by a group of middle school students who were very enthusiastic about seeing all of the positive messages as I slowly rolled by them.