SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 314: “Work Hard – Play Hard… For Everyone”

“This in itself is a monument to dreaming big,” Ken points to the architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall as he and his lovely wife Elaine stop to chat with us.

“Dream big,” are Ken’s to the point words. As simple as they may be, they are possibly the genesis to an unlimited target of thoughts and actions.

And standing dwarfed by the complex engineering of the silvery building we are standing in front of, words that are eloquent and appropriately expressed considering the short time we spend together.

Elaine supports Ken’s council with an equally focused outlook, “Live every day as if it is your last.” A theme we have heard in many a perspective over the last ten months in meeting our 365 strangers turned friends.

What’s cool is that in meeting Ken and Elaine our conversation is webbed with a viewpoint that includes not only ourselves, but also the society around us.

I confirm in asking Ken to further explain his thoughts on dreaming big. “Dream for yourself and the world around you. I dream for a future world where people are more environmentally aware and one where resources are sustainable.

Part of dreaming big is being able to dream for self and for everything.” He expands.

At first meeting, I think my new friends are locals, however it turns out that Elaine and Ken are on vacation from Edmonton, Canada.

In Elaine’s words, “We love it here, in Edmonton we get winter three-quarters of the year and in Los Angeles there are so many thing to see.”

Now here we are, downtown LA, standing in front of a local icon of architecture and in looking at Elaine and Ken, they look as if they are area locals. If you could see me standing in my cabana shirt, fedora hat and flip-flops, the one who looks like a tourist is me, funny how the real stories are beneath the skin.

I share this as a lead in to the wonderment of the way 365 impacts most of those who it touches. There is a compliment that I receive very often, one that until today I have not published. As you read it you may understand why I have waited to share this affirming comment, for read incorrectly, it could be read as self-proclaiming.

So I ask you to absorb it in a spirit that is directed towards 365 and at its real contributors… the people who have become our virtual friends.

Many say, “It is a great thing you are doing, very brave and a great example in the way you approach strangers every day.”

Every time I hear it, I take it as a reaffirmation to the responsibility I have placed upon my shoulders in carrying forth the message we are growing within 365. Here is it again, “We are all in this thing together.”

The broken record speaks again, but today it is prompted to do so via the kind words given by Elaine and Ken.

Elaine and Ken are engaging personalities, and although we barely know each other, it feels as if, in only minutes, we are united in a cause to reach out to the world around us. A conclusion I own in the openness they express in speaking with me on a downtown street while ignoring the fact that their car is parked in a red zone.

And not wanting them to get a nasty California traffic violation I ask if they have any last words of wisdom.

“Work hard – play hard… for everyone,” Elaine concludes.

Lucky for me I’m pretty certain that I have met a sweet couple in their play hard mode. Per the work hard…? Something tells me that Elaine and Ken know how to balance the things they do.

For as stated by Ken, “Part of dreaming big is being able to dream for self and for everything.”

As I mentioned, our talking time is short, but in pondering Ken’s sentence, we have to take council in his dream instructions. Sure, there is no sin in dreaming for ourselves, but as we do… do we dream for the bigger picture around us?

In a way, 365 proposes a dream of its own. A dream that is beyond the thoughts of any one single individual… A dream for a global effort that dwells in the hearts of every person it touches. A dream that, once again the words of Ken… Includes everything.

My friends, shall we continue to dream the dream of a union in the way we accept each other.

Elaine, Ken… enjoy your vacation!