Monday, February 01, 2010

Quantum Kindness: Superposition, Entanglement, and Collapse


GRAFITTI FROM THE HWY 6 UNDERPASS TO THE BRUCE TRAIL


PICTURE OF ME DRAWN BY A STUDENT ON THE WHITEBOARD


I've decided to leave my teaching job at the end of this term (March 5) in order to take some time to write, and I've been thinking a lot about the concept of kindness which is an important part of my educational philosophy. I wrote a few thoughts as comments response to Jennifer Hill's post on her blog listing the number of times a thought occurred to her in a year, including kindness.

I've been thinking more about the notion of Quantum Kindness that I proposed.

Quantum kindness: an act of kindness always appears more than one place at once, and is often changed by how it is observed. Frequently kindness "cannot be explained by either timelike causality or common cause."

Our culture views kindness as weakness, as passive. I think of all the strength many traditions glean from compassion. And I think of my parents as models of kindness. If there were some kind of medal for the decathlon of kindness, both of them would get it. (Actually, for some combination of kindness, activism, and medicine, my father has received the Order of Canada, an honourary doctorate, and many other awards. Next time I'm in Ottawa, I'm going to get a copy of that picture of my dad sitting with Nelson Mandela. Once I walked into my dad's office, and there was the picture hanging on the wall above his desk. "You never told me about this?!!!!" "Oh, yeah, well..." he said.)

Kindness? It's non-violent resistance against the dark but it's also just a kind of everyday breathing.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kindness can be seen in the driver who lets you pass first, in the person who holds the door, in the teacher who cares, in the neighbour who helps out, in the doctor who listens, in the all the simple things which happen every minute (even the same minute) of every day. We just have to give it attention and participate.

Gary you are a good teacher, you can see that in the kids you teach, I am sure they will miss you and society will miss the the teachings you pass along into the world through your class.

gary barwin said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I appreciate the kind words. I am hoping to be able to continue to teach in other capacities, such as workshops, class visits, artist in the schools, and other such things.

Teaching has taught me so much. About kids, about myself, about the world. It has been a most valuable, fulfilling, and meaningful opportunity over the last nearly ten years.

JH said...

Kindness has a ripple effect. Years of teaching created ripples upon ripples, and now with focus on writing you'll have more ways to share what your parents and the kids you have taught have taught you best.

I love the term "Quantum Kindness."