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Copyright 2023

Richard Radstone / Sidewalk Ghosts

No images, videos, audio recordings, writings, or any other content may not be copied, downloaded, or transferred without written permission from Richard Radstone, Sidewalk Ghosts, and contributor.

“I’d tell everybody to treat each other like you want to be treated. There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

He sat ominously under the shade of a tree. His sheer stature taking a dominant section of the city bench as we shared a few minutes together as he waited for his wife to conclude a doctor’s appointment. It would have been easy for me to judge, profile, or make assumptions regarding his intent. 

But if there is anything 365 has taught me, that is to see the world for what it is– a planet covered with unknown people. And even though it would have been easy for me to imagine the intent of today’s stranger-now-friend Michael, I’m glad I did not. For in him is a core that most of us share– a unanimous want to be loved, appreciated, and respected for who we are, or in difficult cases, who we were, or even, who we want to become. In that, a lesson comes into view. It is not any one of our duties to cast ourselves as judge, jury, or prosecutor in how we view those we don’t know.

The above might sound cliche or finger-pointing for me to state. But today, I’ve earned the chops to make this claim. You see, I’ve been wandering the sidewalks for hours, and after a flurry of crucifying brush-offs, approaching strangers has not been a pleasant experience. Rejections, some even threatening, that had me shaken up as I reached out to Michael. But here’s the thing, in every face turned away from me this day, I’ve kept my intent pure. That in itself is a great healer to the esteem hits I’ve taken throughout 365. Even the subtext that keeps me going.

Now, I’m not saying that by any means I’m a master of Zen. I’m as mortal as any of us. Just as suspect to projecting the negative as well as the positive. And yes, my emotions run away the same as, I guess, it does for you. However, there is a guiding question I must ask. Are we keeping our internal dialogues in check by not letting our emotions and thoughts run wild? Hard to do, I know. But I promise you one thing, the rewards are great! A lesson taught me, and I hope, mirrored in you, as we’ve met these hundreds of individuals throughout this project.

So it is with this subtext I reached out to Michael as he sat shaded from the heat of the afternoon sun. In me, no malice to hurt, no judgmental finger pointed, nor any agenda other than wanting to meet another human for who he is.

Upon my introduction, Michael is reserved, yet in his held-back caution, I see an open mind.

It’s always scary approaching strangers, I share as I expose my insecurity in opening up to him.

He thinks for a beat, then, “Yeh. I’ll do it.” I take a seat beside him.

As we talk, and despite the occasional thunder of passing trucks, we find our time together rather peaceful. And even though we are buried in the hum of the continued pulse of smaller moving vehicles, Michael is undistracted in his opening advice to the world: 

“I’d tell everybody to treat each other like you want to be treated.

There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

Shaking the ground, an eighteen-wheeler thunders by. A brief pause and Michael picks up where he left off:

“I think we’d live in a whole much better world if people would just take the time and hear what the next person’s got to say and to pass something on that is good if they do have something to say.”

Michael speaks of his observations of society. “You have people that are here for one reason or another. For whatever they think they may stand for, or what they might do, or something like that.

I find today that a lot of people are unapproachable. But still, there are a lot of people who are approachable. I’m no individual to judge, but you can pretty much see the good from the bad, and sometimes I miss a call. The person that you think is bad, is not. And the person you think is good, is actually bad. It all depends on how well you get to know the individual, and what they are going through.”

There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

The wisdom in Michael’s eyes is revealed. His words lifted me after the hours of rejection I encountered in my journey to meet him. My take on what he is challenging us to do? We need to, at least, be open to getting to know the people around us– not judging; and surely, not attacking. And my hopes are for those of us who can posture up to the call, that we can end our days with a restful feeling as we put our heads on our pillows. The knowledge of a day well spent. Not carrying malice toward others.

“It all depends on how well you get to know the individual and what they are going through,” Michael states. His council confirms that none of us have an idea of what is inside another person at first glance. What looks like dismissible intolerance could actually be loss, despair, or lowliness. Or, the sound of ecstatic laughter could be a shroud for escaping any range of hidden hurts. There is no absolute answer to knowing the underlying experiences another person is going through. But if we learn to trust our inner voices, perhaps we can view each other with compassion and inquiring minds.

I’m not saying that we have to be saviors to the world, just open to taking an extra second in governing our minds as we see and interact with all that we meet or pass by.

Here’s an exercise I do from time to time. I tell myself, they were once infants, just like me. Then I reflect, what happened to them to make them who they are? And as Michael has brought to our attention, “We have no idea of what they have gone through, or are going through.”

“People seem to be disconnected today,” Michael continues,  “and a lot of it has to do with technology.

You walk, and you see a lot of young kids. They have headphones on, and they’re really not paying attention to their surroundings. They are looking up. They are looking down at their phone screens or texting.

To me, it seems that if we keep heading in that direction, we are going to fall out of touch with the real value of human socialness. And if it keeps going like it is, people are just going to fall out of touch with each other.

People are not aware of their surroundings, and I don’t think they really care. It’s all about right now! They are not looking into the future. 

I don’t see a real good future for us. That in the next twenty years or so I would hope things would change or get better. but I don’t know.

People don’t talk anymore. Really talk! You know! Try to see where you are coming from. The way I look at it, the Internet, the iPhones, the iPads, even with them, everyone is disconnected.”

My only words to Michael, “You’re not alone, my friend.”

So to you, the readers of my content, the users of social apps, and any of you who are seeing hours pass as you gaze into the screens of technology. Please, keep using it. It’s a great tool! But not the best destination. So, in your routines, Michael has one basic request, put the tech aside in balancing our lives. Get out and meet people the old-fashioned way– Face to Face. He says, “It just works better that way.” 

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Help Grow Sidewalk Ghosts Podcast at Patreon

Copyright 2023

Richard Radstone / Sidewalk Ghosts

No images, videos, audio recordings, writings, or any other content may not be copied, downloaded, or transferred without written permission from Richard Radstone, Sidewalk Ghosts, and contributor.

“I’d tell everybody to treat each other like you want to be treated. There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

He sat ominously under the shade of a tree. His sheer stature taking a dominant section of the city bench as we shared a few minutes together as he waited for his wife to conclude a doctor’s appointment. It would have been easy for me to judge, profile, or make assumptions regarding his intent. 

But if there is anything 365 has taught me, that is to see the world for what it is– a planet covered with unknown people. And even though it would have been easy for me to imagine the intent of today’s stranger-now-friend Michael, I’m glad I did not. For in him is a core that most of us share– a unanimous want to be loved, appreciated, and respected for who we are, or in difficult cases, who we were, or even, who we want to become. In that, a lesson comes into view. It is not any one of our duties to cast ourselves as judge, jury, or prosecutor in how we view those we don’t know.

The above might sound cliche or finger-pointing for me to state. But today, I’ve earned the chops to make this claim. You see, I’ve been wandering the sidewalks for hours, and after a flurry of crucifying brush-offs, approaching strangers has not been a pleasant experience. Rejections, some even threatening, that had me shaken up as I reached out to Michael. But here’s the thing, in every face turned away from me this day, I’ve kept my intent pure. That in itself is a great healer to the esteem hits I’ve taken throughout 365. Even the subtext that keeps me going.

Now, I’m not saying that by any means I’m a master of Zen. I’m as mortal as any of us. Just as suspect to projecting the negative as well as the positive. And yes, my emotions run away the same as, I guess, it does for you. However, there is a guiding question I must ask. Are we keeping our internal dialogues in check by not letting our emotions and thoughts run wild? Hard to do, I know. But I promise you one thing, the rewards are great! A lesson taught me, and I hope, mirrored in you, as we’ve met these hundreds of individuals throughout this project.

So it is with this subtext I reached out to Michael as he sat shaded from the heat of the afternoon sun. In me, no malice to hurt, no judgmental finger pointed, nor any agenda other than wanting to meet another human for who he is.

Upon my introduction, Michael is reserved, yet in his held-back caution, I see an open mind.

It’s always scary approaching strangers, I share as I expose my insecurity in opening up to him.

He thinks for a beat, then, “Yeh. I’ll do it.” I take a seat beside him.

As we talk, and despite the occasional thunder of passing trucks, we find our time together rather peaceful. And even though we are buried in the hum of the continued pulse of smaller moving vehicles, Michael is undistracted in his opening advice to the world: 

“I’d tell everybody to treat each other like you want to be treated.

There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

Shaking the ground, an eighteen-wheeler thunders by. A brief pause and Michael picks up where he left off:

“I think we’d live in a whole much better world if people would just take the time and hear what the next person’s got to say and to pass something on that is good if they do have something to say.”

Michael speaks of his observations of society. “You have people that are here for one reason or another. For whatever they think they may stand for, or what they might do, or something like that.

I find today that a lot of people are unapproachable. But still, there are a lot of people who are approachable. I’m no individual to judge, but you can pretty much see the good from the bad, and sometimes I miss a call. The person that you think is bad, is not. And the person you think is good, is actually bad. It all depends on how well you get to know the individual, and what they are going through.”

There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

The wisdom in Michael’s eyes is revealed. His words lifted me after the hours of rejection I encountered in my journey to meet him. My take on what he is challenging us to do? We need to, at least, be open to getting to know the people around us– not judging; and surely, not attacking. And my hopes are for those of us who can posture up to the call, that we can end our days with a restful feeling as we put our heads on our pillows. The knowledge of a day well spent. Not carrying malice toward others.

“It all depends on how well you get to know the individual and what they are going through,” Michael states. His council confirms that none of us have an idea of what is inside another person at first glance. What looks like dismissible intolerance could actually be loss, despair, or lowliness. Or, the sound of ecstatic laughter could be a shroud for escaping any range of hidden hurts. There is no absolute answer to knowing the underlying experiences another person is going through. But if we learn to trust our inner voices, perhaps we can view each other with compassion and inquiring minds.

I’m not saying that we have to be saviors to the world, just open to taking an extra second in governing our minds as we see and interact with all that we meet or pass by.

Here’s an exercise I do from time to time. I tell myself, they were once infants, just like me. Then I reflect, what happened to them to make them who they are? And as Michael has brought to our attention, “We have no idea of what they have gone through, or are going through.”

“People seem to be disconnected today,” Michael continues,  “and a lot of it has to do with technology.

You walk, and you see a lot of young kids. They have headphones on, and they’re really not paying attention to their surroundings. They are looking up. They are looking down at their phone screens or texting.

To me, it seems that if we keep heading in that direction, we are going to fall out of touch with the real value of human socialness. And if it keeps going like it is, people are just going to fall out of touch with each other.

People are not aware of their surroundings, and I don’t think they really care. It’s all about right now! They are not looking into the future. 

I don’t see a real good future for us. That in the next twenty years or so I would hope things would change or get better. but I don’t know.

People don’t talk anymore. Really talk! You know! Try to see where you are coming from. The way I look at it, the Internet, the iPhones, the iPads, even with them, everyone is disconnected.”

My only words to Michael, “You’re not alone, my friend.”

So to you, the readers of my content, the users of social apps, and any of you who are seeing hours pass as you gaze into the screens of technology. Please, keep using it. It’s a great tool! But not the best destination. So, in your routines, Michael has one basic request, put the tech aside in balancing our lives. Get out and meet people the old-fashioned way– Face to Face. He says, “It just works better that way.” 

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“I’d tell everybody to treat each other like you want to be treated. There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

He sat ominously under the shade of a tree. His sheer stature taking a dominant section of the city bench as we shared a few minutes together as he waited for his wife to conclude a doctor’s appointment. It would have been easy for me to judge, profile, or make assumptions regarding his intent. 

But if there is anything 365 has taught me, that is to see the world for what it is– a planet covered with unknown people. And even though it would have been easy for me to imagine the intent of today’s stranger-now-friend Michael, I’m glad I did not. For in him is a core that most of us share– a unanimous want to be loved, appreciated, and respected for who we are, or in difficult cases, who we were, or even, who we want to become. In that, a lesson comes into view. It is not any one of our duties to cast ourselves as judge, jury, or prosecutor in how we view those we don’t know.

The above might sound cliche or finger-pointing for me to state. But today, I’ve earned the chops to make this claim. You see, I’ve been wandering the sidewalks for hours, and after a flurry of crucifying brush-offs, approaching strangers has not been a pleasant experience. Rejections, some even threatening, that had me shaken up as I reached out to Michael. But here’s the thing, in every face turned away from me this day, I’ve kept my intent pure. That in itself is a great healer to the esteem hits I’ve taken throughout 365. Even the subtext that keeps me going.

Now, I’m not saying that by any means I’m a master of Zen. I’m as mortal as any of us. Just as suspect to projecting the negative as well as the positive. And yes, my emotions run away the same as, I guess, it does for you. However, there is a guiding question I must ask. Are we keeping our internal dialogues in check by not letting our emotions and thoughts run wild? Hard to do, I know. But I promise you one thing, the rewards are great! A lesson taught me, and I hope, mirrored in you, as we’ve met these hundreds of individuals throughout this project.

So it is with this subtext I reached out to Michael as he sat shaded from the heat of the afternoon sun. In me, no malice to hurt, no judgmental finger pointed, nor any agenda other than wanting to meet another human for who he is.

Upon my introduction, Michael is reserved, yet in his held-back caution, I see an open mind.

It’s always scary approaching strangers, I share as I expose my insecurity in opening up to him.

He thinks for a beat, then, “Yeh. I’ll do it.” I take a seat beside him.

As we talk, and despite the occasional thunder of passing trucks, we find our time together rather peaceful. And even though we are buried in the hum of the continued pulse of smaller moving vehicles, Michael is undistracted in his opening advice to the world: 

“I’d tell everybody to treat each other like you want to be treated.

There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

Shaking the ground, an eighteen-wheeler thunders by. A brief pause and Michael picks up where he left off:

“I think we’d live in a whole much better world if people would just take the time and hear what the next person’s got to say and to pass something on that is good if they do have something to say.”

Michael speaks of his observations of society. “You have people that are here for one reason or another. For whatever they think they may stand for, or what they might do, or something like that.

I find today that a lot of people are unapproachable. But still, there are a lot of people who are approachable. I’m no individual to judge, but you can pretty much see the good from the bad, and sometimes I miss a call. The person that you think is bad, is not. And the person you think is good, is actually bad. It all depends on how well you get to know the individual, and what they are going through.”

There are a lot of different people in the world, but still, we are cut from the same cloth. We’re people. We’re human. It’s not about ethnicity. Even though the world sees it that way. But I don’t see it that way.”

The wisdom in Michael’s eyes is revealed. His words lifted me after the hours of rejection I encountered in my journey to meet him. My take on what he is challenging us to do? We need to, at least, be open to getting to know the people around us– not judging; and surely, not attacking. And my hopes are for those of us who can posture up to the call, that we can end our days with a restful feeling as we put our heads on our pillows. The knowledge of a day well spent. Not carrying malice toward others.

“It all depends on how well you get to know the individual and what they are going through,” Michael states. His council confirms that none of us have an idea of what is inside another person at first glance. What looks like dismissible intolerance could actually be loss, despair, or lowliness. Or, the sound of ecstatic laughter could be a shroud for escaping any range of hidden hurts. There is no absolute answer to knowing the underlying experiences another person is going through. But if we learn to trust our inner voices, perhaps we can view each other with compassion and inquiring minds.

I’m not saying that we have to be saviors to the world, just open to taking an extra second in governing our minds as we see and interact with all that we meet or pass by.

Here’s an exercise I do from time to time. I tell myself, they were once infants, just like me. Then I reflect, what happened to them to make them who they are? And as Michael has brought to our attention, “We have no idea of what they have gone through, or are going through.”

“People seem to be disconnected today,” Michael continues,  “and a lot of it has to do with technology.

You walk, and you see a lot of young kids. They have headphones on, and they’re really not paying attention to their surroundings. They are looking up. They are looking down at their phone screens or texting.

To me, it seems that if we keep heading in that direction, we are going to fall out of touch with the real value of human socialness. And if it keeps going like it is, people are just going to fall out of touch with each other.

People are not aware of their surroundings, and I don’t think they really care. It’s all about right now! They are not looking into the future. 

I don’t see a real good future for us. That in the next twenty years or so I would hope things would change or get better. but I don’t know.

People don’t talk anymore. Really talk! You know! Try to see where you are coming from. The way I look at it, the Internet, the iPhones, the iPads, even with them, everyone is disconnected.”

My only words to Michael, “You’re not alone, my friend.”

So to you, the readers of my content, the users of social apps, and any of you who are seeing hours pass as you gaze into the screens of technology. Please, keep using it. It’s a great tool! But not the best destination. So, in your routines, Michael has one basic request, put the tech aside in balancing our lives. Get out and meet people the old-fashioned way– Face to Face. He says, “It just works better that way.” 

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
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PLEASE SHARE

Help Grow Sidewalk Ghosts Podcast at Patreon

Follow on Instagram

©2023 Richard Radstone / Sidewalk Ghosts

No images, videos, audio recordings, writings, or any other content may not be copied, downloaded, or transferred without written permission from Richard Radstone, Sidewalk Ghosts, and contributor.

“Every moment of every day… your individual impact truly does matter to someone else in the world.”

“Every moment of every day… your individual impact truly does matter to someone else in the world.”

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