“Community can be defined geographically, but it’s the circles I run in that define local love.” It is family, colleagues, and people committed to a cause.”
Kahir is busy. He’s a gerontologist by training, but by choice a servant leader. He volunteers for BC Original Minds Association, the Ismaili community and teaches technology to seniors. This is the Kahir we see.
As an Ismaili Canadian Muslim, his shared values of generosity, kindness, service and humility help him clearly seek purposeful connections.
By striking a conversation with his busy dry cleaner, he learned of their granddaughter fighting leukemia. From a place of genuine concern he dropped off a gift for the girl. The continued comradery that followed was the real gift.
Walking his dog, Kahir noticed that the same elderly woman sat on the same bench each day. One day he decided to strike up a conversation. He learned that her daily routine and only source of connection was to people-watch. So now once a week Kahir brings her a cupcake and listens to her sharing stories of her life.
Kahir lives in Crosstown where he loves the unique mix of cultural vibes. It is here he met a Syrian couple selling baklava. Buying a pastry and telling others about them is how Kahir helps the new arrivals expand their first efforts in Canada.
Such actions make Kahir the local love hero we all hope to know. He inspires us to “see” our community and better it one person at a time.
In Kahir’s tote are powerful connection-starters.
Kahir totes his local love with items that keep him connected as a community leader.
An extra tie and pocket square – because in the corporate world, an expected business casual event can sometimes be formal. “It happens more often than you may think.” Kahir states. Inevitably, someone is underdressed and feeling less than their best. Having this small item to loan a colleague is an easy way to be kind.
Three cases for three types of business cards – as a conversation starter there are few items that work better than the right card. Once the conversation begins, the door to connection is wide open.
Cough drops – in case someone has a need because being of service feels great.
Prayer beads – offer an enjoyable reminder of self. Faith and the values he grew up with make Kahir the man he is and remind him of the person he can choose to be for his community.
Pen and notepad – let Kahir prepare for any question. If time or knowledge keeps him from offering an immediate answer to those he comes in contact with, he simply jots down their contact information and gets back to them.
It’s small acts that matter, like talking to isolated seniors or pushing policy to make meaningful changes that enhance the quality of life for global citizens. “People care, but few take the time to reflect on why,” says Kahir.
Connect with Kahir at KahirL@uwlm.ca
Don’t forget to enter the Tote your Local Love Contest Giveaway! Details here.