SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 111: A Protector Of Virtue

I’ve spoken often of the youth of today. Tonight’s entry is yet another tribute to the young women of this generation. I’m finding it very interesting how certain messages are starting to rise to the surface, finding their way to us through close clusters of varied interviews. And, I’m unquestionably not seeking continuity, it just seems to finds me.

My path starts this evening rather late, had a full day of business today, resulting in my hitting the road a little later than I expected. What I find peaceful in seeking my destination is this assurance; there is no question in my mind as to where I need to go.

It’s as clear as day to me, with the voice inside my head whispering, “Go to the catering truck gathering in Granada Hills.” I’ve been there a time or two with my family. It’s a great dining retreat, with literally six city blocks of bumper-to-bumper gourmet food trucks, all serving culinary delights from around the world. If you have never attended a gourmet catering truck gathering, you’re missing out. Who says you have to sit in the dining room of a star graded establishment to experience well-prepared and colorful dishes?

I arrive towards the end of the usual serving hours, but there are still a few trucks open for business. Plus, it is a winter night, and the crowds are thin. But I have to say, those who stayed home truly missed out. The night air this evening is perfect, rather warm for this time of year, making it a brilliant evening for an outing in browsing mobile kitchens.

It does not take me long to meet today’s friend. Somehow it almost feels as if I have followed a predetermined and direct path to tonight’s friend, Alice, and her family owned business, Oooh LaLa, where she her mother and father make the most amazing crepes.

I’ve only wandered for around five minutes, but the instant I see her, I am positive she has a message for us. And true to 365 inspiration, Alice delivers an impactful call to action:

“Fathers of daughters, you have a great responsibility in determining the kind of women your girls will become.”

Alice is beautiful, intelligent, spiritual and very well grounded. As I said, I did not seek a follow up interview to last night’s meeting with Amanda, another young woman of great character. But for whatever reason, I have been led to back-to-back interviews of these two very special young ladies.

Both share hope and council for the future, both are within years of each other and both exemplify my premise, “The future is in good hands.”

I spoke enough of Amanda last night, and in preservation of needed word count, I’m diving right into what Alice and I discuss on this lovely fall like evening.

Fathers of daughters, you have a great responsibility in determining the kind of women your girls will become, a powerful call to action, and having a young daughter myself, one that I am able to personally wrap my heart around.

Alice exudes great self-esteem and compassion in making her claim for the young women of the world.

“I plan to go into law enforcement,” Alice shares.

I can guess what you are thinking, “Why would a beautiful, petite young woman want to enter such a field?”

Alice explains, “It’s more than a job choice, it’s a calling that I feel deep in my heart, and I know it is what I am supposed to do. I want to do my part to ensure that those in need get the justice they deserve. And, I want to be able to protect young girls and keep them safe from harm.”

I called Alice petite, how wrong am I in this theatrical description, what better describes young Alice is this: Clear, Powerful and Full of Grace.

The source of her power, not aggression, not physical size, not even wealth or status, but love, compassion for others and virtue.

“We need to love others above ourselves, how else can we understand each other. If we step into other peoples worlds and stop living in our own little worlds, the world around us would be a better place.”

Maybe this though is popping into your heads right now, “Easy to say at the beginning of your life. But we’ll see how you feel when you are my age and have seen what I have seen.”

Perhaps, but something core to me says, “Alice is on the right path.”

I can back my claim with the evidence that has been shared with me by so many great young men and women I have interviewed, all with similar hope for the future. There are too many to number, more like an army crusading for a safer and kinder planet. This noble generation is not politicking, not rallying, not condemning the current state of affairs and definitely not passive. What they are doing is this, silently and skillfully preparing to do their part in bettering the world to come. And my prayer is, for the sake of my daughter, that they succeed in their mission.

Alice goes on, “As best as we can, we need to have more compassion and love for others.”

In my mind love and compassion are power. Yet they are not always easy to obtain.

I ask Alice, “What if someone is just unlovable?”

“You have to look at it differently,” Alice tells me, “Its really just hurt, and despite how difficult it may be, they still deserve to be loved.”

Even though very young, Alice is not naïve. She brings me up to speed in sharing with me a little of her life, and I assure you she is not speaking without the experience to support her perspective.

Alice speaks of her life calling with the aforementioned clarity and grace.

An advocate for family, virtue and service, Alice talks of her years to come.

“I see myself married, with kids and helping other young women in every area in of their lives,” a path that she is undoubtedly on.

“I want to help young girls grow into healthy womanhood. So many of them have a void that has never been healed.”

I’m united with Alice as she works to qualify this statement, and I have a little idea of what she is referring to, so I help her with a question.

“What do you mean by void?”

She focuses her message.

“The void of loneliness, and a lack of real love, love that sometimes get filled by a bad example of an earthly father.”

Earthy Father, that is key to what she is saying. I review what I am hearing back to her. She smiles and with a nod of approval, confirms my perspective and gives me permission to share her council in my words.

Here is my translation of Alice’s call to action, “Again, fathers of daughters, you have a great responsibility in determining the kind of women your girls will become. It is you who teaches your girls true self-esteem, and through your example, you show them how they should be treated and respected. If you do your part, and excuse the corny lyrical symbolism, they will not be looking for love in all the wrong places.”

And if you have sons, teach them right, respect, courtesy and honor.

Please forgive me if I am getting a little preachy, this is just a charged topic to me. I mean not to pressure, but to share what I hear.

Along with the memory of a delectable selection of made to order crepes, Alice leaves me a few spiritual passages to share in offering us this challenge:

Men: “Be the man you need to be.”
Women: “You too, be the woman you need to be.”

For the men of the world
From Ephesians Chapter 5
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

For the women of the world
From Proverbs Chapter 31
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

My take, love for one another, both men a women are equal partners in life, putting each other first, expressing kindness, and above all, respecting the sanctity of womanhood.

I see where Alice is going and why she is so impassioned to be a protector of virtue.

Alice: My wife, my daughter and I thank you for your courage in challenging us with a call to action.

May all your dreams come true.