SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 254: “People Need To Lighten Up”

I’ll be completely transparent in letting you know that I am still recovering on my sleep and family commitments from the two long days of effort that our word challenge of Thursday required.

Yet needless to say, and even though I’m prioritizing family time today, I do so with the accompaniment of my 365 camera backpack, an appendage that my family has now learned to love and to accept in our everyday life. To quote my beloved, “You better go get your second wife (of course, she is refereeing to my camera bag, what kind of guy do you think I am).”

It’s like we are becoming The Three Musketeers of outreach. So much so that every time my well is low, either my wife or daughter picks me up, or throws me out of the house in supporting me in meeting my 365 friends.

Thus, credit to who credit is due. Got to love my daughter, who with the purest of intent takes control of today’s friend finding.

“Lets go to my art class dad, maybe you can take a picture of my teacher Miss Vanessa.”

I’m tired… she speaks… I follow.

Well Miss Vanessa is not in, but the studio is full of activity. A teen and adult class is in session, and sitting at the reception desk, in wait of his teen-age daughters completion of class, is proud father Stuart.

On his lap is his youngest girl, who somehow my girl had noticed getting her ears pierced earlier in the afternoon. Now as I previously mentioned, I’m a little tired. And because of that, my personality switch is in neutral.

My kid is my hero today, “I saw you getting your ears pierced,” she inquires of her equally aged stranger. At nine years old, she impresses me with her social gesture and before I have a chance to think I find myself drawn into a conversation with Stuart.

We chat art history and family for a few minutes as I smile at my daughter’s happiness in helping to friendship Stuart and his daughters. These are the moments that count.

With tremendous warmth and a very welcoming and lighthearted demeanor Stuart gives us a several short hand responses (his wife has just arrived and is waiting to meet he and daughters).

And with our needing to get to a birthday party, we all agree to keep it short.

A couple last notes before I report on Stuart’s council. Know that I give you the above journal in the pursuit of disclosure, not in the quest of shoulder pats. I do this for a few reasons. 1) Several of our followers are contemplating, or have embarked on their own 365 quests, and, for their comparison, I feel it a responsibility to report as much as I can on my daily attitudes. 2) It’s my way of opening a more vicarious view to my changing head space. Just consider me the guinea pig of reaching out. My hope in doing so? That in some way it may be helpful in connecting us all to do our part in sharing our hello’s. And, perhaps via exposing the circumstances of my meetings, I might throw a light is some way.

That said, on to Stuart’s first enlightenment.

Simply stated, “People need to lighten up.”

The people working in the studio (all of whom have been listening to our conversation) stop in their tracks, “That a good one,” they express in seconding Stuarts advice.

Cool… Stuart’s words are already working!

“Per the future… Free policy economics is the only thing that is going to save humanity,” Stuart predicts accompanied by a smile and a humble side bar, “We all have our biases… right?”

“Can you elaborate on that concept?” I ask.

Stuart takes a short break to gather his thoughts and gives us a few supporting bullet points:

• The individual’s ability to follow their desires in the marketplace.
• Ideas will allow for a greater sharing of information.
• Knowledge will inspire economic growth and social improvement.
• Otherwise we are a going down hill.

“And I don’t know how we get there.”

 “That’s pretty honest.” I encourage Stuart.

He corrects, “That pretty pessimistic actually.”

I differ though. I see no pessimism. I see an opinion… and one that has merit.

What is good about Stuart’s comments are that in them we can all take away a greater awareness of the words of others. And with this awareness, and if we choose to listen, we can then nurture a greater apathy for the conditions or thoughts of others. Wouldn’t that be a start in opening a better dialogue in general?

Stuart wraps with a cultural observation. “We should probably stop watching TV… better yet… it’s a pretty good medium… we should stop relying on it.

Go read a book… A newspaper… Or learn how to think.”

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