“I know that going through things in my life, I’ve learned that the sun is going to come up the next day” —Brittany
I feel a little like a liar today. No; not for reasons of any despicable deception, a grievous misdirection, or any hidden sin against my fellow human; rather a self-absorbed query that is forcing me to question the very core of my stranger meeting commitment. Like an index finger extended, it pokes me in my forehead of integrity and challenges the very reasoning supporting today’s interview of said stranger.
For three years I’ve promised you that I would share the experiences and lessons learned as I approach people I don’t know. People whom for almost 900 consecutive days have courageously opened their lives in allowing us an interview. Encounters that have ranged from spontaneous and impromptu to the most vicarious of referrals; 100’s (now almost 1000’s) of individuals who knew nothing of me, and I of them. The very premise Operation-365 is founded upon; namely, an opening of our eyes to look, to listen and to hear the world around us. With it, comes a call that has awakened our growing and vibrant community; and in it, you are now actively engaged a global cause to look upon your neighbors with a long lasting spirit of unity. That in itself is a magnificent thing. Reason to lift our heads in celebration of the culture we are forming.
We are more than an on-line list of sideline viewers or news feed. We are alive, contributing, and involved in promoting a rewiring of minds perspective towards why, who, what, where and how we impact the world around us. We are a culture, a blossoming society, if you will. A connected and active people who I am now lovingly calling, we the “Three-Sixty-Fivers (365rs.)”
So why is it that I begin this narrative with my repenting phrase of a liar? Easily answered, today’s friend Brittany is no stranger. In fact, I’ve known her for over 20 years. Brittany has always been a light, and in knowing her family I have seen her grow through her childhood, her teens and into her adulthood. The spirit you see in her interview is real and the tears in the corner of her eyes are well-earned. For the very motivation to include her as a stranger is wholly relevant; and, in exposing my breaking the O365blogumentary absolute stranger rule, I have allowed us a view into the wisdom of a beautiful lady who, as I now understand, is still a stranger to me in so many ways.
Yes, I’ve laughed at her jokes when she was a child, been proud from afar as she grew in her education, and have been blessed by the positive spirit that she so radiantly carries in her young adult persona. Yet under all the 20 something joy that Brittany expounds, lies a depth of experience that many a retiree will most likely never have to bear.
In respect to Brittany, I feel it would be a breach of confidence to reveal her trials. Trials that are not the result of any self-inflicted choices. Brittany is a good egg and a person who willingly puts others before herself. What Brittany carries are burdens that have been placed upon her by the choices and actions of others, and know that she is no victim. Yes, Brittany is strong, Brittany is patient and kind, but most impactful, Brittany is a teacher to me, and I hope, to all of us.
Through her, my perception of those I know is shifting. Morphing into an admission that as much as I think I know someone, there are depths that are unknown to me. A sobering consideration in examining my current perceptions of those near and dear to me, as well as those whose names are logged into my cranial database.
After year of family ties with Brittany (we call her “B” for short) it is apparent that the power we all have to uplift one another is magnificent. For as I struggle to find my place in life as I review all of my trials, to look directly into the very eyes of pure faith is a humbling feeling. A reminder that, for any one of us, life can change in an instant, and, at the end of the game one common reflection will be offered to us all. I’ll just leave it at that.
B, thanks for reintroducing yourself to me, for to not share your wisdom and song with the world would be the greatest of sins. As far as me being a liar, I place the verdict of my case in your hands, my most appreciated readers.
Talk soon my good friends,