SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 132: Young Life Coaches

I get a reproving comment today and at first it cuts me. I even reacted in the moment with a little bit of a snide response; I’m human after all.

It did not feel right when I wrote it, and it surely was not coming from a peaceful place in my heart, and it’s been nagging at me. So much so that I leave my office to get some fresh air by taking the car to be washed.

So in fairness to the reader, whom I will not fully name, and in the spirit of 365, “We are all in this thing together,” I publically apologize for my darkness of intent in lashing out at my commenter. A meeting with my friends for today, one of whom says, “It would be amazing if we all could get along,” I’ll clear the air.

About my snide remark: I feel it was very reactionary to stab with one. “My apologies Anonymous Reader.”

With that behind us, lets move on to my friends today. I’ll call them, “Young life coaches.”

Here I am, car washing therapy, getting the fill-up to receive the discounted wash deal. Gas is chugging into the tank and my daughter is with me. It’s getting boring watching the gas meter turn, and to escape from its hypnotizing suck of time, we decide it’s candy bar time. Plus, nothing soothes a racing mind more than chocolate, that is, unless you’re nine. “No worries,” I think… “It’s almost play time,” surely I can handle the hits of my daughter’s sugar rush, as well as the “What were you thinking?” of my wife’s sobriety. We only live once, so why not embrace the ride… right?

We set our path to candy heaven, the two-sided calorie aisle of the gas station snack shop. In our blinded, sweet craving approach we are pulled from our tooth threatening hypnosis by a rising, and inviting, voice, “Would you like to try our energy drink?”

Our trance is broken and we find ourselves instantly engaged with Riley and Michelle, the Roaring Lion Energy Drink girls.

But roar they do not; their countenance is accepting and joyful. I can see why almost every passer-by is charmed by their presence.

They fall in love with 365 and its message, and are fully on board to contribute; they have much to say.

Riley Goes First. With an infectious smile on her face “I’d like to see more random acts of kindness (I tell her about Dez’s blog), less selfishness and more overall integrity in people… and less trash.”

All home run statements, and very impressive coming from a young woman under twenty. I’ve said many times, “The future is in good hands.” Words that I back by the two hundred, or thereabouts, under 25ers I have met through my 365 travels.

“Love and listen more.” Riley expresses.

This one hits home in calling me to accountability for my reactions, as I wrote above, in regards to “Anonymous Reader.”

In my case, I revised it a bit, rendering it in reverse. “Listen and love more.”

Meaning, we don’t have to agree with everyone’s perspective, but surely we can look beyond what is being said, and with a loving heart, not take it personal. Call me soft if you like, but my hope is that “Optimism can conquer all.”

It’s beyond the age-old gauging statement, “Is the glass half empty or full,” it’s really, “What, or Who, is in the glass.”

We don’t all have to walk the same walk or talk the same talk, but in the words of Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Boal, “You’ve got to have respect for other people.”

Riley has a very healthy life balance, to quote her personal agenda for what is to come, “Enjoy what I have and not yearn for better in desperation. God has a plan. His timing is not always the same as yours.”

Michelle comes to bat. “Looking back… I realize that it always worked out. And from this I know that everything turns out better than I would have ever planned. Things just work out in life and there is a plan for you.

It’s hard to do. I wish I could follow my own advice.”

With an “It may sound cliché,” Michelle qualifies this advice to us: “All that matters is to be happy,” and gives us a charge: “Follow your dream and that will make you happy.”

I remember being twenty-something, and you know what? – at fifty I am rediscovering one tremendous power, “The dream.”

Michelle’s wishes for the future:

“No war or terrorism”

“It would be amazing if we could get along”

And even more affecting: “That I can do something that will make a difference.”

I think Michelle hinted a secret when she said, “It’s hard to do. I wish I could follow my own advice.”

Ladies, you have healed me today. M mind was delving into an unforgiving path, and in my reaction to one reader’s comment… I almost fell.

Lady Riley, Lady Michelle… I dub thee, “Young life coaches.”

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