Other than several teams of men playing soccer, and even though the park grounds are filled with the sweet breeze of early summer air, the grounds are mostly clearing. On the horizon is a young couple, who from a distance, seem to be enjoying a sunset picnic.
It’s been an incredibly long week, and that, joined with what feels like the onset of a serious cold, the though of a long night of 365 searching is beginning to frighten me.
Why do my legs buckle? Well, it’s really a matter of statistics: Big park + One couple to approach + The light of sun diminishing = Increased potential for rejection. A prospect that has potential to happen in adding the average of four to six rejections I receive every day of 365 to the equation.
I approach with my usual zeal, and wonderfully enough, I am cordially accepted into the lives of Bernadette, Joey and their dog Beckham.
We sit and chat for thirty minutes or so and our topics bounce from one point to another. Yet in every topic we discuss, there is great relevance to all we have been exploring over the last eight months of 365.
Bernadette launches her advice in asking us to simply care for each other; and in doing so, suggests that we do our best to continually be open to any works that help each other… however we can.
She tells us a story, “I had a bad day yesterday, and in the middle of it, I came across my neighbor who had a very sad face. I could have said nothing, or just smiled in not questioning how she was doing. But something told me I needed to talk to her.
She told me her dog was dying and had to be put to sleep. We cried together and my bad day did not matter anymore. All it took was saying hello… are you OK? And I was outside of myself. If I would have said nothing we could not have shared the moment. We need to show people we care.”
Joey contributes to the looking out for each other call on a global level, “It’s not like we have to be friends with everyone, but we need to at least try to get alone.”
“Society is so isolated and people are becoming overly medicated,” Bernadette expands as we talk about the positive and negatives of the Internet, media and the fact that there is a pharmaceutical for every kind of self-inflicted condition.
We debate the importance of healthy eating vs. the medical treatments designed to patch the wrongs of what we eat; the importance of breaking away from the computer in getting out for face to face interaction, and the influence the media has on all of us: All topics that have become a fundamental through line in speaking with many of our 365 friends.
“We need to be taking care of nature and respecting what we have,” Joey shifts gears toward the future.
“I’m not sure where we are going to be in one hundred years…” he elaborates, “… it changes so much every year. The future…? That’s is a huge question and very hard to answer. I just hope we are still around.”
Bernadette chimes in, “I think we might be living with more water covering the land, considering the rate of the ice melting.”
We shift back to the present as Bernadette chairs our concluding council in instructing us towards one easy action, “Just ask people how they are doing.”
In hearing this, we create an experiment. An experiment that we are passing on to all of you: That experiment… purely this… To never let a person pass by without at least saying hello or other light acknowledgement.
And at the passing of the eight-month mark of 365, I can assure you, that if you do so, you will never see the world the same again.
Bernadette leaves us with a very empowering idea, “Learn to actually experience the moment as opposed to documenting and tweeting it.”
“Experience the moment… not document it” … I love it!
Shall we all seek the experience of humanity, “We really are all in this thing together.”
Pass it on, my friends.