“What words of counsel do you have for the world?” I ask.
“It’s difficult for me,” Musician Roberto replies in Spanish.
And with the help of Hector, the manager of Follow Your Heart supermarket and restaurant, who interprets for us, Roberto continues.
“The solution for the troubles of the world…? It’s not political, because the two systems – socialism and capitalism have not found the way for people to be more united and in solidarity.
So to me the solution is to be more open to the opinions of others, to listen and respect each other. It’s more about the people and less about the government.”
Roberto is a patriot, a true respecter of the American dream. He talks of the freedoms we are graced with in the United States and is open about his wishes for the world to become unified.
A theme that we have heard throughout 365, but what is, and somewhat sadly becoming apparent, I am hearing it more readily from people not born on American soil. All legal, all paying their taxes and all extremely happy to be living in a democracy.
At first Roberto is a little hesitant to interview, but with the support of Hector, who graciously finds us sitting room in one of the busiest vegan eateries in the area, Roberto and I settle in for a pleasant conversation.
It’s cool how I even got here. Only one hour ago I was perplexed as to where to go on this Sunday evening. Sunday is always the hardest day for me. It’s the day that I do my best to find time for family. And every week the thought of an hours long adventure, becomes more and more difficult to endeavor, even with my drive to not stop 365, for any reason.
I talk of the 365 community and how the web of it is forming, the “We are all in this thing together” statement that move us forward every day.
And like I said, “I was perplexed.” With that perplexing came a silver lined email from Corinne, a stranger turned friend a couple of weeks ago.
She suggests that I visit Follow Your Heart, and to speak with store manager Hector. Her support turns out to be in perfect timing. Strange how at the exact moment of my mind shutting down I receive Corinne’s email. Thanks Corinne, I’m not sure if you realize how impactful your reach-out is to the 365 mission, and you steered us right.
Roberto continues, “I’d like to see younger people in the government. Obama is OK, he is not too old and open to new things, but we need more young people in power. And what I mean about power is young people able to make decisions. They have a fresher perspective and listen to the people. It does not matter if they are Democrat or Republican.”
Roberto talks of the people and of solidarity, something that we all share common ground in desiring.
To date, I’ve had conversations with close to 500 people, all vast in their beliefs, ethnicities, ages, status and histories, and from this I can comfortably state with the credentials of all who have contributed to 365, “We all seek unity, the desire to be loved and respected for who we are.”
This alone is basis for us to consider how we view each other, and to steal a dream from Roberto, wouldn’t it be nice to have a world that is more united and in solidarity.
Roberto expresses what he calls “My idealistic dream.”
It goes like this:
“The same way that this country became the most powerful nation in the world. I think that now in this country the young people of the very same nation should achieve the change in the world. The change that people will create more solidarity. And that this same youth should fight for the same equality that we have in this country be everywhere else.
Roberto is a humble dude, a talented guitar player and a citizen of the planet. He speaks powerfully of the freedom of individuality and the peace of community. His dream is a dream that I am sure we all share. His words challenge us to action.
An action that is not beyond our means, and an initiative that, hopefully, we are all beginning to embrace through the encouragements of our 365 friends. An act that is organic to follow and core to our own self-worth.
Roberto is asking of us only one thing, to respect each other for who we are, to drop the guile, judgments and fears. He is instructing us to reach out our minds to have faith in the people, and to allow for fresh thinking in exploring the ways we view and act towards one another.
When Hector first introduced me to Roberto, he told me this, “Roberto is the man you need to interview. He is the greatest man in the San Fernando Valley.”
Hector, You pointed us down the correct path in talking with Roberto this evening. But, as I promised, we’ll be talking to you soon. I feel you have a few good wisdoms for us all.
Roberto stands strong, “I have faith in the young people.”
I agree, and have spoken with many of the future leaders over the past five months. They are noble, smart and inspired. I’ve said, often, “The future is in good hands.”
My hope, let us old folks teach them well, and with a listening ear, consider their wisdom. After all, they are the future, and times are changing, my friends.
Roberto leaves us with this, A little embarrassing for me to share, but I must publish it as a tribute to you, my 365 contributors and readers.
I ask you in reading it, to own it to yourselves, 365 is not of me. It is a result of you, and I want no glory for its creation or growth.
Here is what he leaves me with, “I don’t believe in God, but if he does exist, I thank him for people doing things like what you are doing. You are bringing people together and that is what matters in this world.”
Bringing people together… For whatever has drawn us together in this 365-day journey, we are here. And through it we are charged to a purpose, a universal mission to maintain a positive perspective towards humanity… not government, affiliations or other forms of direction.
I’m not proclaiming a revolution or a disengagement from reality. What I am proposing is this, that we look at one another with respect, compassion and acceptance.
We don’t all have to be intimate friends, that would be an insane proposition. But we can at least be accepting or open eared.
365 friends, we really are in this thing together, pass it on.