SideWalk Ghosts / "After All… They Are People Too"

_L2R3950So here I am, as at many times, sitting at my desk staring at the yellow-green aura of mercury vapor light as it radiates through my office window. It’s silent and still (4:04am to be exact), strangely contrasting my hasty finger pounding at the keys of my innocent laptop as I look at the origin of this complexion killing ambience… Spectrum Athletic Club, owners of the alley that borders my backyard.
It’s the prefect set up. Noise from open-door Zumba by day, transient campfires by night, and best of all, the ever-changing shape of weed trees that, although cute at first, are now growing to become expanding wedges of home improvement nightmare as they angle my brick walls to the point of collapse. You know, all the neighborly considerations that you would expect a rabid badger to extend upon you.
What? Wait a minute! Richard? The man of optimism and good will is having a gripe session at his neighboring business? Hey, I’m human… just as reactionary and self-protective as any of us. And when brush-offs and half-intended responses to over 3 years of reaching out to the high turnover management of said athletic establishment yields little response, I can’t help but to get a bit out of joint.
I had no intention of beginning this post quite this way… hot under the collar, but from the very beginning of 365 I promised you that I would openly communicate in sharing my feelings and impressions—be it inspired via the meeting of the many strangers who are brave enough to expose their hearts and mind to us, or in whatever content I decided to contribute to Operation-365.
Yes, I’m still reaching out to strangers… do it on a daily basis, and after almost two years of practice it is now habit to the way I live my life. Sure, I’m still getting the expected “You’re a nut job!” from a few. At times even accompanied with some of the most colorful use of vocabulary I’ve ever witnessed. We are such a creative species… I never knew you could use so many verbs in place of adjectives. Language can be so artistic.
I’ve lost count of exactly how many I’ve approached (must be over 3,000 by now), but as we have found out, even though there are more than enough skeptics to go around, the majority of people are still welcoming to what we are doing and are open in engaging with me… the stranger in their lives.
People who are all wanting a better planet, and people who share a mutual desire to be loved and feel safe in their own spheres of existence. From all walks of life and position have I spoken with, and from all corners of the planet have we received comments. All with one resolving commonality… we the majority of decent hearts have much to contribute to bettering the world! A finding that challenges us to examine our own position in what we project to those around us.
Sure, bad stuff happens… to us, and through us. That’s life. We are all doing the best we can to master our own emotional and spiritual dominions. But to what level do we isolate ourselves in the navigation of our journeys. This is the question that I really am examining this morning as I purge my discontent regarding the flow of ineffectual managers who have control of the eroding alley that shrouds the sanctuary that I call home.
What then is my part in the big picture of this life experience? Is it to be guarded, to be the bully, or the victim? Traits that we are all suspect to. Or is it to be pacified, silent and self-protected by standing on the back row of what’s right? Two questions we can all take heed of as we open the doors to the days approaching.
I had zero idea of what I would be writing this morning. All I knew is that it had been way too long since I contributed anything to Operation-365. Life has just been that hectic. A poor excuse, I know, but one that I ask for your forgiveness in overlooking. Yes, I have allowed temporal obstacles to get in the way of my contributions to our awakening of purpose, at least in my written word. But I promise you that I am still a daily ambassador to our mission of empathy.
As for my alley problem… the negotiations are about to begin, not to win the war, or to crush any individual, but to firmly settle on what is fair and right. After all… they are people too.
Talk soon my good friends,
Also, if you would like to share your stories or outlook, you can submit your articles in written word to Please keep them between 800 to 1,000 words. Looking forward to what you have to say.