[ From the Archives of 365 ]
“Live every day like it is your last. Because you never know what is going to happen.”
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 its 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. A part of the neighborhood where on weekends music regularly rings out, and a culture where families are seen gathering in front yard conversation.
In a way… it is reminiscent of vintage America. A time when neighbors knew neighbors and cups of flour were exchanged. The irony, not often can a single Anglo be seen present navigating over 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 its diversity; a diversity that is the very foundation of its creation. And, a foundation that, as observed by my Hispanic friends on the other side of the Farralone line, has been respected as long as I have lived in my house.
Yes, I have many friends on both sides of the street, but to be quite honest, at many a time I feel more at home on their block. And today is such a day as I run into two new friends, teen 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 a distanced hello. But after a while, even this acknowledgment has grown old and even lacks depth. With this admission, the time has come. The moment to pause and do my part to start the 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 it’s well time we talk.
I ask Robert to share his words of counsel with us. “Live every day like it is your last. Because you never know what is going to happen.”
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 expressed it when I was a teen. For me, at the time, it was about self and looking only for fun. A fact I’m a little embarrassed to face as I remember my teen years. But the reality is, my generation grew up in the “If it feels good… do it” era.
The eighties! A blur now, and although there were a host of global and political problems then, the decade bred youth that was 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 electricity, like water and solar panels. There will be no poles or 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’d like to see world peace,”
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. And as I recite Erik’s romantic and optimistic wish, I hope we can at least drops the borders of our own making.
For as history continually illustrates, the efforts of one can be great, and if each one of us does our part in our 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– and that answer is lurking in your circle of influence.
So please, never forget, wherever there is one good deed given or thought shared, a seed is planted with the reach to grow a better world. And from that place, who knows what can happen?
So in the end, the choices remain yours, and if you think deeply, I’m guessing you probably know what you need to do. And in that, the question lingers, and in it, a modest challenge, “Do we choose to listen?”
Pass it on my friends!