SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 307: “Do We Choose To Listen?”

On day 124, we met Fernando and spoke about an invisible border that separates two distinctly different neighborhoods. Thirty feet of auto traveled asphalt that I defined as the Farralone line, a black-topped river that parts two cultures, each with their own dynamic ways of daily living. My side being communicatively isolated within its walls and the other side open with street activity at day’s end and weekends when music regularly rings out and where families are seen gathering in front yard conversation.

In a way… it is reminiscent of vintage America. A time where neighbors knew neighbor, and cups of flour were exchanged.

The irony, not often can a single Anglo be seen present navigating the shores of the Farralone line. And in my observation of times past, a question is posed. What is happening to the American spirit of unity? For in a country, in which the very title, The United States, screams of knowing thy neighbor, many still point a finger at the richness of it diversity; a diversity that is the very foundation of it’s creation. And, a foundation that, as observed by my Hispanic friends on the other side of the Farralone banks, has been respected as long as I have lived in my house.

Yes, I have many friends on both side of the river, but to be quite honest, at many a time I feel more at home across the stream.

Today is such a day when I run into two new friends, neighbors Robert and Erik. Now I’d be a liar if I told you I have never seen them. For often as I have walked past their home, we have met eyes with an exchanged hello. But after a while even this distanced acknowledgment has grown old and lacking of depth.

And with this admission… time has come to pause in conversation. After all, Robert and Erik are my neighbors, only four houses and a street divide have parted our knowing each other a little better, and its well time we talked.

I ask Robert to share his words of council with us. “Live every day like it is your last. Because you never know what is going to happen.”

Without fail I’ve heard this from many a youth throughout our 365 interviews. And, every time I hear it, it sounds different… especially from the way I said it way back when I was a teen and young adult. For me at the time, it was about self and looking only for self-fulfilling fun. I’m a little embarrassed in looking back upon not only myself, but my generation, the… “If it feels good… do it” era.

The eighties…? And, although there were a host of global and political problems then, the era bred a youth that were in no way comparable to the informed generation that is walking the planet these days.

So when Robert speaks of living every day like it is the last; it is implied that his meaning is based in a much greater depth.

He elaborates as he looks toward the world to come, “There will be no more gas, everything will be run off of electric, like water and solar panels. There will be no poles and electrical wires. Everything will be wireless.

Tires won’t be rubber. We will be hovering over the ground, helping the environment and all that.”

Sure it sounds Sci-Fi. But in reading through the lines, Robert is speaking of environmentalism. Taking care of the world that has been given to us.

I turn to Erik, “What words of wisdom do you have to share with us?”

He gives us more of a petition than advice. “I’d like to see world peace,” he says.

I could write more, but how do I top, “World Peace.”

And as far as this afternoon, let’s just say this, The Farralone Line is slowly disappearing in my world. My hope is that we all join in working on dropping our boarders to support Erik’s admonition… again… he dreams of World Peace.

For as history continually illustrates, the efforts of one can be great, and if each one of us does our part in our own neighborhoods, perhaps Erik’s words might not have fallen not fall on deaf ears.

It’s not about riots, big groups of protestors, or even subscribing to one party or another. It’s much simpler than that…

The answer is lurking in your own circle of influence… where one good deed, or thought, has the power to yield another. And from there, who know what can happen. The choices are ours, and I think we know the answer. So the question lingers, “Do we choose to listen?”

Pass it on my friends!