Sidewalk Ghosts / Interview 434: “Learn From Everybody And Be Yourself”

“Here we are with our friend Ursula…”


Often I’m asked, “How do you know who to approach?” Well, sorry to say that I am clueless for a standard answer. It just happens. Sometimes I walk up to people; sometimes they walk up to me. Yes, I am Mr. Vicarious in life. I’m that guy with the “hello” or “good day.” You know, that stranger who for whatever reason finds a way to get into your space or acknowledges you into his. Not in an annoying way mind you. More like the dude from a 40s sitcom, sans the “howdy neighbor” (and know that I’ve been rejected many a time in my quest). You bet, I’ve been dismissed by silent eyes and outright verbal attacks. But I’m down with that, no harm, no foul—but it does knock the wind out of my sails when someone profiles me the wrong way. I won’t lie about that.
On the other hand, the better part of the equation is the 1,000s (yes,1,000s), of strangers I’ve been blessed with sharing meaningful conversation (not everyone wants to be formally interviewed). Moments that have not only proved enlightening, but more profoundly, bonding. I’ve shared hugs, been fed and have been trusted with heartfelt feeling on the most intimate of private thoughts. The experience of 365 is has been, and continues to be, nothing less than life enhancing.
Selfishly, that is one of the motivators that drives me to find the 4 to 6 hours a day I dedicate to our mission of unity. Hours that are in addition to my career and family responsibilities. In this weighing of time, please know that I am not complaining at all. There is lucid (I hope) reasoning backing this seemingly self-proclaiming exposition. In opening my heart, grandstanding as my words may seem at times (I hope not), please know that I assume the humbler side of the above statements. I consider myself an active source as a case study. For the best trials are the ones we individually experience.
I’ve done my best to be honest over the years we’ve been together in 365. Days that (other than the occasional vent on the frustrated day) I pray have brought us a little closer together in this cause and helped us to breath freely as we wade deeper into the water of our initiatives and outreach.
So how do I know who to approach? Does it really matter? For in every heart, in every brain and in every spirit there is a truth to be shared, and ultimately that truth leads us back to our own reflection. That is why I do what I do. Yes, it is selfish to a small degree. Yet in my mirror reflection I ask myself, are you putting your actions where you mouth is?
Sure, a mirrored image that has landed me the target of criticism from time to time. Well worth the hits. Knocks that I gladly take if they are in the path of the awakening happening before our very eyes. Absolutely, it is an extremely slow process and I won’t hide the fact that I’ve dreamed of a viral phenomenon for Operation-365. A vision I admit I’m still holding onto.
So I remain optimistic, assured by your subscriptions, comments and likes. We are here because of you. In this compliment to you, I won’t martyr in taking no claim to my position. Respectfully, I won’t be passive in denying my contributions to 365. I will always roll up my sleeves in reaching out to the world around me and in providing content for 365. It’s a win/win from my perspective. But more importantly, and as we grow, I look forward to my growing role into an expanded set of shoes, that of a facilitator. Doing my part in inviting your efforts to be active as we grow our community of sharing.
As Ursula has inspired us, “Absorb as much knowledge as you can and learn from everybody.”
In a way, each of us are teachers. In a formal sense…? Maybe not. But as life ambassadors of what’s right, Ursula sums it up well, “Learn from everybody.”
Shameless Plug
You can check out Ursula’s fundraising outreach at