Going the extra mile: Casey, Spencer & the Kandahar connection . . . .

It has been some time since he last bought a burger for a stranger.

In Kandahar, such things are not so simple.

That doesn't mean that Casey McEuin isn't doing his bit to reach out, touch lives and make connections, though. Far from it, in fact.

You see, the selfless soldier might face some unenviable challenges in the line of duty, but even in an environment as unforgiving as Afghanistan, he is steadfast in his determination to always create time for others.

To quote Casey, 'You can make a person's day by just saying 'hello' and 'have a great day'. If you have never tried it, do it! When I'm home, in the [United] States, at times when I go through a drive thru', I will buy the person's order behind me'.

Such things cannot be done in Casey's current location, but, still keen to do his bit for the fast-growing Good Deeds Movement, the super-fit Staff Sergeant and colleague Spencer Polwort have, during recent days, put their bodies on the line in order to promote their connective agenda.

The method, to each ride 100 miles on an exercise bike, a gruelling undertaking that required two months training, but one that the pair completed in a little over three hours.

The aim, to encourage others to put themselves out and go the extra mile; the message, that deeds don't always have to be so great to make a difference and improve lives.

To quote Spencer, 'Life is short and it takes very little to inspire or make someone smile. Sometimes it just requires minimal effort to make someone feel better or to make a difference in life. I hope this helps people to take a moment to self-reflect and really look at what they can do locally to help their neighbors or community out and to make it a better place'.

Reading about Spencer and Casey's athletic undertaking reminded us of others pursuing similar goals:

Those like Mark Allison, training hard for his next fundraising run, this one across Australia.

Those like Ryan Garcia, doing one good deed for each day in 2012.

Those like community champion Theodore Peters, hikers Kirk and Cindy Sinclair and superstar singer Lady Gaga.

It reminded us also of the remarkable Rachel Scott, no longer here but still inspiring a growing movement with her moving manta:

'People will never know how far a little kindness can go. I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, it will start a chain reaction of the same'.

That theory, put to the test, is being borne out.

Such different lives, different locations, different people and different fortunes.

Put all that to one side, though, and goals are shared, causes common:

More kindness, more compassion; putting in the extra effort, making connections.

Here in our studio in Saunderstown, where such things inspire our OMs and encourage us to continue in our own connective quest, this warms our hearts and bears out our own beliefs . . . .

That together, we can make the world a better place.

That connected, life can improve.

Casey, Spencer et al agree and, for all their respective efforts, we salute them . . . .

Here's to inspiring others and raising smiles.

Here's to saying hello and the minimum effort it takes to make a difference.

Here's to compassion and kindness and keeping this chain reaction going.

We are all connected.