SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 263: “Undivided”

I’ve stumbled upon yet another Starbucks think tank group, lovingly titled by charter member Bing, “The Old Takaka’s.”

But Takaka’s they are not. I sit with them and chat for about an hour. All have great stories, wise advice and more combined enthusiasm than that of a collegiate fraternity.

Among them is peer of similar age to myself, Rick, son of group veteran Cara. Seems that today Rick is crowned campus chancellor. And without hesitation he nobly steps to the front of room (well, less the theatrics, front and center of the our umbrella covered study table).

My attention kicks in as Rick jumps into a passionate set of life recommendations.

“’Take care of your kids. Our future depends on today’s youth… bottom line.

Make sure your kids are cared for and educated. That is the hugest thing we can do for our future.

We’ve got a couple of generations of kids that are lost and disconnected. They think they are connected with this device, (He points to his smart phone). But the really are disconnected.

My wife and I are in the foster program. We don’t have our own children, but we feel blessed. Through this, we see a lot of the other side of what can happen if you don’t take care of your kids. We see that direct impact of what can happen if parents get sidetracked as adults.

It’s like this, you get to be a certain age and you learn how to tie you shoes… Then you get to a certain age and you can maybe take care of your little brother or sister…. Then you get to a certain age and you’re big enough, and you’re old enough to drive a car. But are you responsible enough to be doing that…?

Then you get to an age where you can have a baby, certainly you’re capable of having a baby, capable of producing a baby, but are you capable of raising a child. I think that’s where we look at people and say, ‘Well… That person looks like an adult.’ But in reality, inside they may be a child themselves. And whoever they are, I think that their self-worth goes back to how they were brought up and raised. And I think rebuilding the family is where we need to start in wanting a better future.

It’s all about rebuilding the family back to a very strong foundation. From there we will see a different set of values, values that will be a lot more proactive and progressive in interaction with society and community.

So the fact that my wife and I cannot have children does not mean that I can’t be a parent in trying to make some of that change happen within my own life. I think it was Gandhi that said, ‘Be the change.’ At least that is where I am starting.

It’s a funny thing about the word individual; the actual root of the word, means undivided.

It’s kind of cool that we can actually make that effort on an individual basis, which really is a collective effort.

Left to Right: Rick, Bing (Background) and Cara (Also Background)

The future is going to have to become more simplistic.

Life is very complicated right now. It’s full of distraction and chaff and too busy.

I think that’s part of the reason we lose sight of the important things in life. We are pulled in so many directions. I think that the natural course of evolution is that life is going to have to simplify. It can only get so complex before it falls down for a simpler world.

A life where we can all focus on what is important.

Right now we are pulled towards the consumerism. I think that’s going to crash in on itself at some point. From there, we will have to start over.

Then after the chaos that will ensue during that sort of a transition period, maybe a ten or twenty year period, perhaps even longer; we’ll literally see people say, ‘What can we take away from this experience? And let’s leave all the rest behind!’

And I think it will be more of a simplistic approach to life. We’ll have more values as to what we know to be important.

It’s incredible that we have gotten so far off track.

One of the questions I ask my clients (Rick is a financial advisor), ‘If something that you thought was true… was not true…when would you want to know?’

If everyone were to answer that question and take action in looking at their lives… At the things that they believe… And at the things that are really not true.’”

Rick holds the conference to attention. His presentation is sound and secure. And his perspective is well founded with reason and life experience. There are many powerful points made in speaking with him. Points that present problems that cannot be solved with wholly academic solutions.

Rick is an optimistic and realistic thinker. He considers not only at the now, but also at the past in empowering his words to actions. I consider him an actualized inhabitant of community Earth, a citizen of humanity who is seemingly doing his part in bettering the planet.

In his thoughts he has posed quite a few topics for our consideration. All with their own unique resolves that can be adopted into our individual situations.

Some of us have come from charmed histories; others of us have fought tooth and nail for our literal existences. But whatever the circumstance, Rick has forced us to access our issues in prompting us with his short query, “If something that you thought was true… was not true…when would you want to know?”

The solution may be riddled with variables or shrouded in fear. But in the end, and with heartfelt consideration, might we act on the answer and have the courage to persevere.