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Most liveable City (for climbers) 21-Jul-2006 At 1:53:24 PM The Keeper
No tears now - just smiles and give that little guy lots of hugs. Believe it , kindness conquers all - and nothing can stop it (even a gnarly vixen in Boonah) or some nasty cancer condition. Think of a solitary snowflake - much like a small act of kindness - it has a spectacular beauty all its own but its impact is relatively modest (but important) - but put a few gazillion of the things together and they form glaciers that move across the landscape , modifying all before it and into amazing results - the same with acts of kindness - combined with other small acts individual lives are modified and societies are transformed - it can modify the human landscape and make a better world. No change is possible without those small individual acts in the first place. We all need to step up to the plate and take on responsibility for making the world a better place - a avalanche of kindness could do amazing things and what better place to start than a great little guy in NSW who needs a bit of boost.

So just an alert to those gnarly vixens in the Great Aussie Death Zone - my air ticket is in hand and the jihad opens on August 8 in Brisbane when I wash up on this most fatal of shores. It starts with my friend at Tweeds Heads - who has a daughter in her mid- teens aflicted with anorexia - I met her in 2004 - one terrific lass with an amazing spirit - into a local surf club and full of energy. Then all of a sudden I get the news of this disease that she has - down to like 42 kilos - making toast in the morning - leaving crumbs on the plate after throwing it in the garbage so no one would know what was really going down. My mate works for a consumer affairs unit in the government - not a great salary and his wife does some part-time work. They are severely challenged to meet the health and therapy costs with getting this lass right. I rounded up a $1,000
and sent it to him as a modest contribution to resolving the problem. It was never a question of being able to afford it or not - friendship is meaningless if you cannot be there supporting a friend in tough times - without being asked. And in the end , any such investment in an amazing kid like that is much more an investment in myself - as the rewards are beyond monetary definition. There is no doubt in my mind that she has the ability to turn the situation around - all she needs is some help and that is a pretty standard thing for us all - we all need it at different times in our lives for different reasons - there is no shame in being in that situation and we are responsible for providing it to those that do need it. It is the path of honor and that is best path to be on.

So what is the most liveable City (for climbers) - it the place where compassion, generosity and kindness are in abundance. Where people treat each other with respect, where mates support each other away from the crag as much as at the crag , where climbers share their beta, beer and humor with each other. It is the locality where the environment is respected and nurtured , where women are respected and treated with understanding and affection, where youth are actively engaged and celebrated in a supportive environment, where the elderly are honored (because as one old and dearly missed friend once told me - "You will be old one day "- it happens sooner than we imagine or expect! It is a place where the words in a forum focus on the positive attributes of an individual rather than slagging an individual for failings we can find in all of us. It takes little talent to criticize and find fault - but the person that rises above that trap will be rewarded in ways they cannot imagine. Positive things and good things attract to good people - each of us are responsible for the outcomes in our lives and notwithstanding some bad knocks or bad luck, we all are accountable for our own outcomes - it is usually a major cop-out to blame it on other people or situations.
And there is a really good Aussie example that you all should know already - an inspiring story of a chap by the name of Albert Facey. The bloke was up against it in his youth and had many more tough knocks further on in life - but he always picked himself up and waded into the next round and in the end could say that he lived " A Fortunate Life". I enjoyed the book because it gave the landscape that I walked through in 2004 - real context and meaning. Often you don't have to go far to see amazing people doing amazing things - lots of heroism out there , every day, in all shapes and sizes. For myself, I could care less about doing Aussie 36 and being a hero, but I would care a lot about being a hero of kindness for a little boy of 4 in a land that time sometimes forgot (at least around Boonah!) but we should not forget to do right by that young chap!

As ever, soon down under to meet the thunder!

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