SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 117: “No One Wants Bad Karma.”

Box City, Fry’s Electronics, Office Depot, you know, you’ve been here, Errand night.

It’s 5:45pm, winters do get dark early, don’t they? But there is something about the night air that is spectacular, and I am happy to be out.

I am not alone, as expected by my daughter, the promise of shopping, even at Box City, is a calling to her, so she is by my side.

I tell her, no problem, but we will be on the lookout for 365 friends. Like I’ve said before, “My family is in great support of 365,” but I have to admit, the thought of backgrounding her this evening is sitting a little roughly with me. Especially after hearing her smiling response to a 365 outing, “Aaahg.”

Aaahg, Not sure how it sounds to you as your read it, but I think you get the message.

And even though we are in no rush to speed through our route, I am resolute to do my best to find a friend that she can both appreciate, and one who will help me in making our interview short and sweet.

We enter our first stop, Box City, our local pit stop for UPS shipping. The store is empty with one young couple leaning at the register ringing out a stack of boxes.

They depart, leaving my daughter and I alone with four shop keeps behind the counter. I throw an invite, and even as I am explaining 365, I know the answer, “We are not interested.”

It was a no brainer; this is a feeling that I have come to identify with often. It’s not a negative sensation, just a little voice that says, “Not these guys or these ladies.”

It’s weird coming to identify with it. I’ve had times where I’m standing in threatening places, yet the voice says, “Stay.” Or the exact opposite, people jumping to be interviewed and the prompting saying, “Not here, not now.”

So all I do is listen, and every time I force it, nothing happens.

The big question I am self-asking, “Is tonight’s interview going to be short.”

And in my gut there is something telling me it will be.

Perhaps it is a reprieve being delivered to me by a higher power, wanting me to focus my attention to my daughter this evening. But, whatever it is, it is evident that I will not be taking photos of the Box City guys.

We leave the store, only minutes after the young couple before us. The moment I leave the shop, I know I see my new friends–the above mentioned couple as they are putting the last of their boxes into the back of their hatchback.

What is amazing to me is that I know, even before introduce myself, they are prepared to share a needed point-of-view with the simplest of narration. And after several weeks of rather lengthily 365 searches and interviews, I welcome the prospect of a short meeting.

Trust, me, I’m not complaining. I’m loving the deep discussions I’ve been blessed to be part of, and if that is the pre-ordained path of 365, I’m all in!

Needless to say, I am learning to accept the promptings I feel as correct.

I have to tell you the scene. The Box City parking lot is not really a parking lot, more like a few painted parking slips in a very dark alley. An alley that is not heavily trafficked or lit, the sort of space that keeps you hyper aware and very reserved in being willing to lock eye contact with anyone. After all, muggers come in all shapes and sizes, even dads with daughters.

Maybe, the fact that I am traveling with a nine-year old in a beat up Honda, lessons the intimidation factor; but whatever it is, the air is filled with a peaceful spirit, telling us all, “This is a good thing.”

It’s all smiles as I speak with my new friends Emma and her boyfriend. They are in the middle of a move, yet are in no way rushed to get away.

We talk about 365 in generalities for a while, highlighting some of the experiences that many strangers have shared with me. We agree that many things happen for a reason as we look at how the links of 365 are forming.

Emma is the only of the two who is willing to be photographed, but her boyfriend is extremely supportive of the message 365 is forming.

Per my earlier muse, Emma, without hesitation, throws a to the point and youthful council.

“Be nice to everyone, because bad Karma sucks!”

We all smile huge on that one, and with one fun little message, Emma encapsulates one of the strongest notes coming out of 365, “Just be nice.”

In thinking about the future, Emma wants the world to be more developed.

At first, I question if she is talking about technology and industry, but that thought does not sit right with me. I have to inquire further, “What do you mean?” I ask.

She clarifies, “I’m talking about people, we all need to be consistently looking through other peoples eyes. To do our best to understand each other and overcome ignorance.”

Ignorance? A bold and powerful word, one that contrasts with Emma’s youthful and soft energy. Yet, a word that tells a lot of Emma’s character.

In speaking of the topic, I realize what Emma is saying. If used incorrectly, ignorance, can be perceived as a judgmental term. But in speaking with this sweetheart of a young woman, her point speaks volumes.

What Emma is telling us is to educate ourselves. Not only of trades, or of tasks, or in knowledge of the planet. But to humble down in looking at the lives of others with a “what if we are in their shoe perspective.” Sort of a great little recap of the discussion I had only yesterday with our friend George.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written this header often, “We are all in this thing together.”

Emma has delivered us a lot this night in her truncated and impactful words, “Be nice, and see others for who they are.”

In this, she is not telling us to be friends with everyone, but challenges us to a minimum of a least respecting each other. To accept individuals at face value, for who they are, not what they are.

Because after all, “No one wants bad Karma.”

Thanks Emma, happy moving!