Reaching any milestone makes you pause and think about all that has gone before. This year, Food Train is celebrating 25 years supporting older people in Scotland. Usually I have lots to say on pretty much every subject, but to describe Food Train’s 25 years so far, I need only one word - kindness.
I’ve been with Food Train for 18 of its 25 years; “where’s the succession planning I hear you cry”, don’t be alarmed, I definitely won’t be here to see all of the next 25 years, but maybe just a few.
I can safely say that over these years so much has changed in the world around Food Train, and yet, some things are comfortingly exactly the same. Changes in technology, automation, politics, social media, climate change, our health, democratic and social unrest to name a few, are sweeping us along a road not everyone wants to travel, bumping us off the kerbs and scratching our human veneer. Yet despite all that, for 25 years the capacity of us humans to help each other has remained comfortingly present, unchanged and untarnished by the march of time. At Food Train we have survived and thrived on the currency of human kindness. We’ve absorbed and helped distribute virtual tonnes of kindness and when I think about all the people who have been involved with Food Train over the years, it’s simply remarkable. Millions of precious hours given freely in the service of others, volunteers giving their kindness in the pursuit of helping, giving comfort and easing the lives of others, what a gift! And it’s not just any old kindness, it really is top notch, gold standard kindness that shows up every day, in all weathers regardless of whatever else is happening in the world. It's a kindness thats deep rooted, a kindness that grows and spreads, a kindness that Food Train luxuriates in like a warm bubble bath. It's a kindness that enables everyone involved to benefit.
So how do you measure or quantify 25 years of kindness? I’m not even going to try, there is no measure that can do kindness the justice it deserves. Whatever the world brings for Food Train over the next 25 years, I’m steadfastly confident that kindness will remain in plentiful supply.
Happy Birthday Food Train!