From left to right: Shane, Saya and Kevin
Not far down the road is seasonal winter wonderland. An outdoor ice skating rink that somehow shows up, almost overnight, every October: Same place, same date, same theme. I’ve driven past it year after year, always saying to myself, “one day I’ll take my family California skating.” I give it this title because it is the only way I can explain ice skating in a mall parking lot, at night, in easy weather.
Tonight I find myself passing this urban construct of winter. And as I pass, in it’s proven tone, the 365 alarm sounds, “stop there, now!” I’m learning to trust it’s strangely subtle voice, a diving rod of sorts that subconsiencously steers me in my 365 path. After 50 days of getting to know it, I have learned wherever it points I follow, and when I ignore it, 365 is difficult.
So it sounds, “stop there, now!” and I listen, not knowing why and not certain if I will interview anyone. Is this tonight’s starting point or an end point? I don’t know. I feel horribly selfish making my first visit sans family, but I have to trust. Without question, without self-justification, without thought of location or technical execution, I just go.
Entering the complex and to the cashier, I ask, “how much to skate?” I’m directed to a sign, $15 for adults, $12 for children. Good with that, I ready myself to report back home of my findings, thinking it wold be inconsiderate to interrupt these kids at work. I turn away from the counter and set stride to depart. The alarm sounds louder! “You must invite your new acquaintances.”
Glad I listened. Throughout this project I have been led to some of the greatest youth. From kids that scare me to kids that are at the top of their game. What is impressive is that most have shared words beyond their years, leaving me with the distinct impression, the future is in good hands.
Winter wonderland puts me in contact with three more of this select generation, Shane, Saya and Kevin, all great young adults, all with great perspectives, all with hope for what’s to come, and all with well grounded maturity in what they claim.
We spend about an hour talking: A little bit of sharing as a group and some one-on-one Q&A. Here is a compilation of their wisdom:
“Be nice to strangers, and do your part to make the world a better place”
“Learn about the deadliest sins and do the opposite”
“Be courteous to others, its common sense”
“People can be selfish, so learn to share”
“Say thank you”
“Be the first to open doors for others”
“Take care of the environment”
“Don’t over think, things always work out”
“Take risk, follow dreams, no regrets”
“There is a lesson in all we do, good experience and bad experience, it’s all about a positive perspective”
“Stay open to new things”
“Don’t live with what if’s, there is always a way back”
“There is a positive answer to every situation, don’t allow yourself to get trapped in the negative”
365 has again put me in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. I have rubbed shoulders with the future, a trio of passionate young adults, who, early in life, have managed to find a depth of experience.
What I choose to not publish is the few life issues they share. Events I assure you have gained them their bragging rights. I respect these future leaders, they have earned my regard and I will not exploit their life stories. This is what I will say, “they understand where they are going, who they are and what is important” How many of us can say the same.
Shane, Saya and Kevin, “See you on the ice!”