Thursday, April 8, 2010

In Memory of Trinidad: Transforming institutions through humor and generosity

A few years ago I met a man named Trinidad when I was making a video about a group that I volunteer with, City House. Trindad was homeless at the time, and a participant in a spiritual companion program that City House offers. Earlier this week, Trinidad died of a heart attack. As much as anyone I've met, Trinidad seemed to cultivate a positive spirit in institutions he was a part of--a homeless shelter, an apartment building, and a community of people who were homeless. He didn't change the spirit of institutions through any formal authority, but through his personal humor, warmth, and generosity. Here is a 2 minute video of Trindad, which gives you a taste of his gifts:

This video is part of a longer video that I made about City House. The full video is available on their web-site. City House connects "the mainstream and margins for mutual spiritual growth and transformation." I currently volunteer through City House to facilitate a spirituality group at a drug and alcohol recovery center. I'm very grateful for the many gifts I received through participating in City House.

This week I give thanks for the ways that Trinidad touched and charmed the people around him.