SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 116: “The Zen Master of Martial Thought”

I break a rule this evening; I’ve promised myself not to mix 365 with my livelihood. A business; that through thick and thin has graciously supported myself, and my family, for the last thirty years of my life.

But tonight, the 365 voice is stronger than my reservations, and when a moment of individual time with my new friend George, the owner and CEO of a company that I am meeting with for the first time arises, my hesitation subsides and I know that I am in the right place, at the right time and with a person who has a strong message for all at 365.

The prompting is fulfilled when George blazes a trail of wisdom.

What I thought was to be a short interview, turns out to be an amazing discussion of humility and love. Life gauges that, sadly, are often the first principles to be stripped in the corporate world.

George, however, grasps these principles as the leading force in creating his corporate culture, and it is empowering to witness. What is amazing is the commitment, professionalism and endless skill set I see in all of the working with George. That’s right, I said, “Working with George.”

“Working with George,” I’m very selective in making this observation. In a world where so many  “Work for,” All I can say is, “I am in a culture that is united, not only in the business of marketing, tactics and strategy, but even more powerfully, in the pursuit of a greater humanity.”

I’m deep enough in 365 to have received many compliments regarding the content. Content that I claim no credit for, and admit it really is beyond me.

There is an invisible web that is continuing to form, with strands of silk beyond my control, all somehow coming together to weave a framework of life concepts for us all to grasp.

365 is created not for any personal means or any self-gratification, although I’d be a liar to say it is not changing my life for the better. I just report my findings and do the best I can to make it somewhat entertaining. That’s all.

George, forgive me for throwing one global bounce back to a few not so positive comments I’ve received regarding my service in embarking on 365. I’ve been accused of loving to hear myself speak, that is so far from the truth. It’s really quite the opposite. My purpose in 365 is to be the voice of others, not to boast of my own agenda: It is about hearing, seeing and accepting each other. And my words are simply that, words.

Words to the readers, not to myself; words that for three to four hours of every day, I do my best to smith in a way that does justice to the many who so bravely step up to share what they have to share. So the tribute is not to myself, it is to you, my 365 friends. OK, enough rebuttal.

George, thank you for allowing me that clarification. Much appreciated.

Now, here is the golden cap to that statement, and I feel part of the reason for my meeting George this day.

To sit with one who is, by the world’s standards, highly successful in business, it is exceptional to also find a man who is a champion of humility in honoring all, no matter what their situation or ability.

He knows where he is going, has the smarts to do it, and is obviously on course. But with the thought of business mastery set aside, and in the context of getting to know each other, George and I have a chat of a higher nature.

George possesses a great self-awareness, one that he does not covet, but has sincere desire to share. So much so, he gives me a literal glossary of life perspectives, perspectives that so ground where we are thus far in the 365 journey. And somehow, I can not deny one simple fact, “With this being the first day of a New Year, we are meant to hear Georges council, and great council it is.”

The first philosophy that George shares with me is the concept of “True Beauty.”

He likens it to a gift, saying, “Life give’s gifts and it’s a gift to just be here,” posing this question to us all, “When did you stop taking off the wrapping paper and take the time to unwrap the gift.”

I ask, “What if life is difficult? Is that still a gift?”

George has a way of answering with parables and questions, really makes talking to him more than just a conversation, but a fascination self-discovery and challenge to look into oneself. He talks in the perspective of self, never delivering a “What about George?” premise, but rather speaks in the “What about you?” All with the greatest of humility and respect, both supported by an infectiously engaging sense of humor. George is the kind of guy that you simply want to break bread with.

His answer to my “What if?” Question.

In perfect George grace, he let’s me answer it for myself.

“Regardless of where the ship seems, the captain knows where the port is… And, it is the same port that we departed from.”

“The road to epiphany is for people to gradually de-hypnotize themselves and rediscover choice.”

“Life is collaborative theatre, and we are in the process of real time character development.”

“No one can master pride. They can only master humility.”

Read them how you want, Here is my take: “Sure, life deals us blows and blessings, some are self inflicted and others are inflicted upon us. But no matter what the infliction or gift, it is for our self-development and also provides us a greater empathy for mankind.”

The key is this self-question, At the end of the day, did we choose to be the best person we could, and did we do our part to, in the words of George, “Master our humility.”

More gems from George, “There is always room for an epiphany, and there will never be a last epiphany. The hard question is, do we act on them, or are we calcified by life experience?”

In making decisions, he give’s us this, “Think less, know more. Make as few decisions as possible, but make the one’s that are required. No biases, no judgment, no rash decisions, but the right decisions.”

I mentioned George’s sense of humor; here is a rather fun, yet powerfully subtle parable to support his thoughts on humility.

“The smartest human is no smarter that the smartest ant.”

Meaning, no matter how large we think we are, there is always more to learn, and there is always a greater intelligence than us.

He defines it as possessing a, “Gifted Conscience,” Explaining, “This gift is simply humility… The more we listen to the words of others, the more we will discover how to hear the gifts.”

George departs these words upon us, three words that he openly proclaims are guide marks in his life: Love Truth, Beauty.

“They are barometers for where we are. Many see them as three separate words, but if we live at the highest, they become the same word.”

With a warm mile George tells me this, “I want to write a book, a compilation of the ongoing essays I am writing.”

The title of that book, suitably: Love, Loves, Love.

George, Thanks for the New Year kick off.

Talk soon, my friend.