SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 316: “Peace Is Mother Of Solving All Problems”

I’m grateful for the business that has befallen upon me. Please don’t read me as gloating in the face of recession. And in saying this, I am humbled by the terrible years of 08 through 11. Years that pushed my family to the very edges of security.

I’ve shared a lot with you over the last months. More than I have ever published about myself, all for the purpose of building trust with you. A trust that I will always do my best to maintain in whatever path 365 carries me on.

The primary reason I write of the good fortune that has befallen to my household is in making an observation in exampling the situation I find myself in.

On day one of 365 I said, “Let’s see what happens.”

At that time,I had zero idea of what I was getting into. Their was no standard set for the heavy writing commitment I’ve now grown accustomed to, the sacrifice of family time that all under our roof have learned to manage, and the deep hit’s to the marketing initiatives of my business. In a world driven by financial and social positions, many might think it crazy to prioritize a social experiment over the responsibilities of being a family breadwinner, yet in a remarkable way, we have wanted not, and have even witnessed our business grow.

I can’t eloquently explain it in writing, but last night our new friend Julia commented her viewpoint on life’s journey when she said, “There is a purpose in everything.”

She also shard her life earned philosophy of “No regrets.”

Julia’s words have been echoing in my head today, and in mentioning my above intro, my intent is to illustrate her point. You see, my heart is changing, not saying that I’ve ever really been a self-absorbed greed-monger, but there has been many a time where business has been first to everything. A battle that I fight to this very day being the self-employed artist that I am.

For whatever reason, I have been given enough to meet my needs. No more… No less. What is fascinating about it, though, is the fact that the more I let go to nurture 365, and in keeping a keen look out to the people around me, work miraculously comes in… my mind is lightened… and my emotional burdens lesson.

I’m not saying that I am anywhere near out of the pit that the recession constantly is pushing on my family. And, I’m sure you have your own set of obstacles, but my point, however, is this. 365 is proving to us that the more we take courage in letting go of… the more we open our lives to gifts un-noticed.

Every day a stranger has proven this to me, and I hope to us. Leaving one condition to meditate upon. “I’ll do the best I can for myself, for other and optimistically accept what is to come.”

I’ve been lucky this season, and I have no expectations of what is around the corner. Yea, I’ve been a little blessed with work lately, and true, I’m a planner and without a doubt this afternoon I find myself in the middle of a heavy post production workload. But in that, I also realize than next week the bottom could fall out, and that is OK.

For what really matters is the lesson learned in meeting today’s friend of 365, whom in the blur of my desire to crank through a hectic day in questing for some much-needed family time, I almost overlooked.

Here is the set-up… I’m rushing like a mad man, multi tasking on everything, won’t say that I’ve completely shut the world off, but I have allowed myself to become a little too numbed is expression eyeless hellos with all I pass. Paused footsteps and fading smiles are the trail I leave as I walk my rushing cadence into the Lowes to return a product.

Transaction complete, I pause… “What am I doing…? Slow down… Absorb… Listen to you own 365 advice Richard.”

I exit and to my left is the very person who made a great impact on me only moments before. Ben is his name, and the sociable response he replied to me as I threw him my zooming hello is still ringing in my head… I slow down and get to know Ben, our friend of the day.

Ben talks of Peace… “’Love each other… Nothing else matters.

Peace is mother of solving all problems. People are greedy, they want money… they want power… with that; we are not going to get anywhere… man! The world needs peace.

I’m Middle Eastern. My country back home is far from peace. That’s what’s we need. If you have peace, you can solve almost everything.

Originally, I’m a Syrian, we have a seven thousand-year empire… we have history.

But people right now are more educated; we are more intelligent than people thousands of years ago. We have to look back… Power…? Money…? It did not get the people anywhere. They ended up dying… somebody killing them. They didn’t take their power or money with them… They went to the grave empty-handed.

So we have to learn. If I die, I want people to remember ‘Ben, what a nice guy he was, he helped me here… he helped my family.’ I don’t want them to say, ‘Ben… he killed my Cousin, or ‘he did this to…’ That’s the only thing we are going to leave in this world… who we were and what we did.’”

“How do we end the cycle?” I ask.

Ben sighs… “’Stop being greedy… Pay attention to your kids, your daughters and you’re your sons. And ask yourself, ‘Would you want somebody hurting them?’

And realize that somebody you’re hurting is somebodies kid… is somebodies father… is somebodies brother or sister. We’ve got to put ourselves in the shoes that we are trying to harm and ask ourselves, ‘Would we like somebody doing that to us?’

People that hate peace… they don’t put themselves in the other persons place. They’re messing up the whole world… and it’s wrong. One day they are going to realize it’s too late. Hitler killed millions of people. What happened at the end? Did he get anywhere? No, he was the most powerful man at the time… He ended up killing himself.

When you are a good person, you have peace. It makes sense, don’t hurt anyone. Hurt comes from when you lie to somebody, killing somebody, raping somebody. Hurting somebody is the mother of all the sins. That’s what the bible says, that’s what the Torah says, that’s what everything says… Don’t hurt anyone and you’re fine.

I’m afraid of the future… I don’t have any good news… I don’t think it is going to get better.

I predict a big war… a bloody war, and at the end, the whole world is going to be controlled by one society, or one group, or one person.’”

A dark prediction, so I challenge Ben to guide us in what can we do to avoid such a fate?

Ben shifts gears, “’Do not listen to the news, do not to believe the newspapers… just go with the logic.

Like politics for example… If you go to the Middle East the media brainwashes you to be against America. You come here, the same thing. From all the news they tell you, ‘All those people over there… they’re terrorists… don’t trust them.’

I was born there. As far as I know, no one ever told me to blow-up Americans.

East and West are telling different things about each other. And it’s not true. Because of this there will always be war… It’s wrong!!

Sure there are bad people on all sides, but that does not mean the whole nationality is bad.’”

Ben had drawn a scale that contrasts a vision of a doomed future with an equally qualified vision of peace.

And per us… no matter what our outlook on the planet of 3013 or beyond, we have opportunity to plant seeds for the future. Never forget that in each of us… as individual as we are… every choice we make or act we play out can either build or destroy.

My vision… that as demonstrated by Ben… is that peace will be our choice.

Glad I slowed down today, Ben, my friend, great chatting with you and thanks for halting my pace.