SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 251: “Let The Talks Begin”

Three digits of summer weather drive my daughter and I into an indoor shopping center for a bit of cool air and frosty beverage. And fearing the spirit of mall commerce, plus my kids need for more stuff, I wander no deeper than the entryway in guard of retail hades.

We decide to leave, and upon exiting, we run into one of my daughter friends and accompanied by her mother, they offer us a combined excursion of said mall.

An invite that I cannot ignore, for if I do, the agony of my daughters, “Why Dad!” would most likely leave me with the second greatest of shopping stress, a stress almost equal to that of the mall experience alone.

For if I exit at this time, on this day, the dreaded, “Why Dad?” would undoubtedly become the theme of the evening. You have to know that I am not a pushover father, and that respect, manners and discipline run important in our home. But as every good negotiator knows, you lose a few battles in order to win a few… and this battle is not a prudent one to fight.

I agree to the excursion with one condition… I get to stay put. The verbal contract is confirmed and with gleeful cheers, my kid, her friend and mom disappear into the kiosk and storefront jungle.

The negotiation behind me, I settle in to my quite space, and as I do, I am pulled to introduce myself to a young lady who is quietly sitting, enjoying the same private sphere as I am entering into.

“Excuse me, forgive my interruption,” I introduce myself as well as the 365 project.

“I’d love to be part of it, but I have to be back to work in five minutes, can I email you my answers?” my new friend Nicole responds in a wonderfully engaging and pleasant manner.

We take a few snapshots, review the questions, and off we both go… back to our daily routines. I have to say, this is the quickest 365 interview to date.

Only hours pass, and true to her promise, Nicole give us this:

Question One:
If you could give the people of the world any advice, council, or pass on any wisdom, what would you tell them?

“Lately, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that my life isn’t easy–that no one’s life is easy–that much about life is simply about working hard and driving forward. I’m having a hard time with not knowing what lies ahead, but being okay with that.

The one piece of advice that has kept me sane is that while all the ebbing and flowing and flux within the universe may be new and scary to me, change is nothing new. It is an infinite and eternal force and without it, life could not exist and would not have meaning. It is necessary and I must make peace with it. I assume that somehow this advice is capable of touching or at least resonating with other people, hence my offering it.”

Question Two:
Looking ahead 5, 10, 15, 20 even 100 years and beyond, where do you see the planet, or the people being? Or how, or what, do you advise us regarding the future?

“As time passes, I see both people and the planet becoming increasingly reliant on technology to perform a variety of tasks and to solve various problems, and while technology definitely has the capability of creating more efficient and effective systems, it also tends to lead us toward over-generalization, to lack of personalization, and toward a more myopic view of the world around us.

If I could offer any piece of advice to people of future generations, it would be to stay centered and focused, to step back and take a look around them. Sometimes technology seems easier; more convenient, but it leads toward dependence on artificial systems.

We need to remember to take a step back, to communicate face-to-face, to face issues that affect our lives, such as global warming from a common sensical point of view. Sometimes technology is a crutch.”

Nicole points out, “Change is nothing new” and encourage us “To stay centered and focused.”

And per her words she has advised us to “Take a look around us.”

Nicole, in honor of your charge, may we all remember to take a step back, and more importantly, to put aside our inhibitions, insecurities, preconceived notions or judgments. That we can universally partner in one unified task. A task that you have so tactfully brought to our attention in your summation, “We need to communicate face-to-face.”

Let the talks begin!