Catherine Achu Koshy
The City of Toronto has three reasons to celebrate the simplest acts of kindness today.
Today is the third Greater Toronto Day, the first day of Ramzan, and the International Day of Live Together in Peace. And all the three urge us to be kind and generous.
This day stands as an opportunity for people to embrace the city’s diverse communities and show the world how people can all live in peace.
“Toronto is already an amazing city but let’s make it even better by performing acts of kindness for our fellow Torontonians,” Toronto mayor John Tory tweeted this morning. “Our campaign is proud to continue building a city where the world feels welcome.”
Tory proclaimed Wednesday as the Greater Toronto Day and surprised 100 TTC commuters with a free ride and cookies.
— Megan Robinson (@RobinsonMegan) May 16, 2018
People were encouraged to participate in social media and broadcast campaigns highlighting the good deeds people are doing.
“Toronto residents are encouraged to participate in activities that make Toronto a better place to live, work and play,” Tory said in an email. “I hope everyone will take some time to do something nice for a friend, neighbour, co-worker or anyone else they meet out and about in the city.”
He also highlighted the City of Toronto is invested in community building to help ensure that every resident, community, organization, agency or business can contribute to our collective growth and development.
“The city supports healthy communities across Toronto by partnering and investing in people, services, programs and facilities to strengthen social, economic and physical conditions that impact city-wide change,” he said.
Several activities and events were organized across the GTA in association with Global News, Q107 and 102.1 Edge.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie participated the celebration as she gave out coffee, cookies and compliments to people at City Centre Transit Terminal.
It’s #GreaterTorontoDay & I encourage all #Mississauga residents to demonstrate simple acts of kindness that help make our City a better place to live. Share your good deed using #GreaterTorontoDay for a chance to receive a $1K donation to the local GTA charity of your choice. pic.twitter.com/uV0ojux34Z
— Bonnie Crombie ?? (@BonnieCrombie) May 16, 2018
“I had the opportunity to visit the Mississauga Transit Terminal in the heart of downtown at the height of rush hour to spread kindness to Mississauga residents and encourage them to do the same,” Crombie said in an email. “Anything from helping an elderly neighbour put out their garbage, buying the next person in line a coffee, donating to a food bank or animal shelter, holding the door for the person behind you or simply smiling.”
“Such occasions would help reflect on various communities in the city and it is great,” said Firaaz Azeez, manager-special projects at Muslim Welfare Association. ” It is a great way to inspire others.”
The Muslim communities in the city are in their preparations to celebrate Ramadan starting this evening.
“In the month of Ramadan, our principles teach us to develop God-consciousness,” Azeez said. “The reason that is important is that as we become more aware of our connection with God, it really does stress our responsibility towards humanity.”
“It is a reminder that we should be our better versions and do good deeds,” he said.
He also highlighted the importance of developing the habit of giving back to the community.
To top it all, May 16 is also declared as International Live Together in Peace Day by the United Nations. It is celebrated to acknowledge the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding, and solidarity.
According to UN, “the day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity, and harmony.”