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    It’s been 23 years since I’ve moved to Canada from the Philippines.  I remember that the first thing I looked for was a Filipino community paper so I can read some news about the community being new in Calgary.  I never found any Filipino community paper back in 1996. From them on I told myself that [...]

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Kindness Gives Back

By Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe from the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana
What is the best way to make oneself feel great?  Do a random act of kindness for someone.  According to scientific studies, “doing good” is not only good for the recipient of the good deed, but also for the person doing it, making that person happier and healthier. If one can give help, one feels energized and inspired to find her/his own opportunities to perform random acts of kindness – everyday!
For eleven  years, I worked with a health-managed company in San Diego, California with its headquarters located in the heart of downtown, right across from Nordstrom Store.  It’s a good 20-mile commute each morning in an express bus from the north end of the city where the well-known US Marine Corp Air Station Miramar is located.
In the fall of 2010, the 10-year lease of the office building which American Specialty Health, Incorporated occupied  expired. The CEO decided not to renew the lease but move the company’s headquarters to the neighbourhood of Sorrento Valley which I greatly applauded. It was a 7-minute commute from where I lived. Chosen as the head of the relocation endeavour was the Vice President of Information Systems. Soon after, the VP circulated an e-mail seeking for coordinators to work with him with the move. Without giving much thought, I  signed up, offered my services and attended the intensive training for coordinators to assist and support in the smooth transition of the company. My immediate superior, director of the Regulatory Compliance and Corporate Affairs, was very pleased with my action.   About 1,100 employees of American Specialty Health, Inc. moved to the new location  during the Columbus Day long weekend.
That same year, In early December, I made my final determination to take early retirement from the company and relocate back to Calgary.  My husband and I decided to put most of our things in a storage facility to bring them home the following summer. We realized we needed a lot of moving boxes to pack our things which we had accumulated through the years.  Acting frugally, I thought of what happened to all those boxes that  ASH, Inc. used when we moved. Gathering all the courage that I could muster, I contacted the VP of Information Systems, who was the head of our relocation project and told him of my plan. He was very gracious and generous  that he provided me instructions how I could avail myself  as much boxes I needed.   Before I left his office, he pointed out to me that I’ve demonstrated utmost cooperation, support and kindness all the years I’ve been employed with the company. I was in disbelief of what I heard but it confirmed my conviction that kindness is never wasted. It always make a difference.
Most times, we don’t learn the end results of our seemingly random acts of kindness, but once in a while, we do.  Either way, our reward comes not from the knowing but from the doing.  I deeply believe that even one small gesture can reap huge blessings.

Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar is the past president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Alberta from 2012-2015. Currently, she is the Chairperson of the Stewardship Committee of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church. She also chairs  the Holy Trinity CWL  Council Committee on Legislation and Resolutions.


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