SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 110: Rose Colored Glasses

“They say, ‘Good guys finish last,’ I disagree,” first words of wisdom given to me by the wonderful Amanda, one more of my friends from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Arizona was great, but there really is no place like home. I’m happily settling back into my schedule, with only one bummer at hand, having to return my temporary Dodge Durango.

It’s a really fun vehicle: Push button starter, back up camera, a memory for seat settings and a very high tech audio system. Please forgive me if I sound like I’m having a man’s temper tantrum, but I need to vent, “It’s a great guys toy! I want one! Enterprise can’t have it back!”

OK, my brief vent is over, and with the reality of a daily charge ticking away, I hit the trails to auto return land. I’ll just put a Durango on my gift list. Who knows? Maybe my brother-in-law will give me one for Christmas 2018 (Steve, hope your reading this entry).

Off to Enterprise I go and in the door I proceed, where I am greeted by the warm and servicing welcome I have come to expect at this particular location.

I say hello to my friends, Drew and Julia (Day 103, “The Golden Rule”). In perfect Drew form, he is talking a customer off a ledge. As proven by him in my last visit, he quickly resolves the issue and all is well.

In walks Julia from checking in another customer, she hits me with a smile, “Loved the article, thanks.”

Drew is finishing with his customer, Amanda buy his side, “So how did you win?”  She asks.

Turns out my co-car returning friend is just back from Vegas. “I won on Roulette,” And he goes on to share his secret with the eagerly listening Amanda.

You have to know, I was raised in Vegas, no one wins big on Roulette, so my ears are perked. I lean over to listen what my gambling friend has to say. His method is systematic and involves observing the table for some time before he places a bet. He looses me somewhere between the odds are 50/50 and you’ve got to keep doubling or it won’t work.

Good thing I don’t gamble, or I might have kept the Durango for another road trip to Sin City. Still, he is a co-human, I shake his hand, “Thanks for the tip.”

The store is empty now; the buzz of 365 is still hanging in the air, so I extend an invite to Amanda. She is in, but very reserved about the proposition, “It’s a really cool project, but I don’t like having my photo taken.”

“Trust me,” I tell her, “I promise you are very photogenic and I’ll make it quick.” Amanda is one of those people the camera loves, and I knew it the moment I saw her. Only takes us a few frames to get a great shot, and how can I miss with a smile like hers.

I have two sisters and have spent a career working with women. One thing I know for certain is never to ask a woman her age, or worse yet, share it with the public. But I will tell you this; Amanda is in her early 20’s. Why do I publish this trivia? It’s makes a bold point to her character and her outlook for the future.

I’ve said in earlier posts, ‘The future is in good hands.”  A claim I feel inspired to state after meeting so many noble and intelligent young men and women during my 365 experience. Amanda is no exception to this observation.

She speaks selflessly in sharing thoughts like, “I don’t understand how people can be mean to each other.” We talk about this topic for a few minutes. What Amanda is saying is not a fairy tale statement, but a challenge to us all to think before we react.

Amanda is not proclaiming that we wear rose-colored glasses. Yes, life can be stressful, and yes, the world is not always kind to us.

But, this, in my words, is what I think Amanda is saying, “We don’t have to be best friend with everyone, or take abuse, but we also don’t have to contribute to the downfall of human kindness.”

With that, it is in our power to either build people up, or to break them down. I go with building them up. And yes, Amanda, I agree with you, “Good guys can finish first!”

“It’s not about how much money you have or where you live, but the feeling you have at the end of the road.”

I’m fifty, twice the age of the lovely Amanda, and just beginning to understanding this claim, which by the way, rolls out of Amanda mouth as if a foundation to the core of who she is. Again, the future is in good hands.

In a way, Amanda is a world watcher. She tells me of her observations of the people around her, citing one example of a close friend of hers. She uses an explanative in describing this friend. In setting it up, she tell me this, “I can tell you that, because I told it to my friends face.”

Never once did Amanda character assassinate of bag on her friend. Her perspective was completely compassionate. “’I gave her a book to read, ‘Be Nice or Else,’ reading it changed her life

, and she thanked me for that.’”

How many of us have dismissed friends for their bad attitudes or negativity. Yeh sure, sometimes it’s all we can do to protect ourselves. But do we have the courage to speak up before doing so. Amanda does, and for this, she has helped another to have a better live.

Great job Amanda! Early 20’s? Right? Hey us old folks, let’s listen to her.

“At times, I’m sad about the world. We have to be careful or we’re gonna be in trouble.”

Amanda speaks with true concern for her friends and humanity, it is wholly apparent she is doing her part for the community around her.

“Where will I be in fifteen years?” She questions… “Married, with adopted children and running my own business.”

Oh, I forget to tell you, Amanda’s father owns one of the largest production lighting companies on the West coast. She was raised to be an entrepreneur.

Amanda’s closing advice for us, I’m taking a little liberty to summarize her message in my words. But they are simply this, “Do your part for the world, we need big change in how we treat each other and the planet (referring to the energy and waste problems).”

Day 110, 265 to go, I have no intention of slowing and will keep 365 alive.

Still, no idea of where we’re going, but one thing is coming to focus. There are a lot of good people out there, rich, poor, endowed or struggling, it matters not.

We are a world community and combined in perspective, have the power to see each other with I’m happy to say, rose-colored glasses.

The message is getting clearer, isn’t it?

Thanks for staying with 365; we’ll see what happens!