It all started September 9, 2011 when I embarked on a journey that not only redefined the course of my life, but also touched the minds and hearts of a diverse majority. I called it Project-365 (365 Strangers / 365 Days), a daily blog that ultimately brought together people from all corners of the planet. My goal was straight-forward: Every day for an entire year, no matter how I felt, what I was doing, or where I was, to approach absolute strangers; asking if they would allow me to interview, photograph and blog essays that featured their photos and responses to a common set of questions. 365 consecutive days – that through rain and shine, from hot to cold, regardless if I was tired, healthy or ill – I never missed a day; and as the challenge progressed, I fell in love with the world.
At first it was slow going, but things dramatically changed in December of 2011 when, unknown to me, WordPress featured my story as one of the top ten daily blogs to follow. Overnight an audience of tens grew to a community of thousands; and as readers, commenters and subscribers from all parts of the globe took notice, Sidewalk Ghosts was born.
Since then, I’ve continued to author and publish hundreds of essays, photo narratives, videos, podcasts and a speaking outreach advocating a set of balanced perspectives regarding how we view and treat one another. A message that has been welcomed by the many I meet, and expanded through my writings, broadcasts, presentations and appearances. I guess in a way, I am a story teller as well as an ambassador to a society-enhancing call to action. One that is extremely relevant for this chapter in history: Empathy toward others, recognition of diversity, and constructive interaction with one another – In Life, Work, and At Play.
An undertaking in which I must express a most sincere gratitude and give tremendous credit to all who have, and continue to, bravely step forward in sharing dialogue and action. A people vast in origin and outlook who, unknown to each other, have proven the existence of a very real majority. A global community of remarkable individuals who, in their own un-publicized ways, and beyond their own obstacles, are reaching out to hear, say, and do as they look and live past barriers that divide us.
©2021 RICHARD RADSTONE
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