Recently Richard was interviewed by Megan Holiday of KROQ 106.7. They talk a little bit about the history, the future and what Operation-365 is doing. We invite you to take a listen.
The Art of Conversation
“People should text less and listen more. They are losing the art of conversation through texting and their interpersonal skills are being lost. They don’t know how to problem solve or collaborate, so we have to force them to work on the interpersonal skills. Since I’m in education I’m trying to change the whole process of teaching from lecturing to hands on learning. Learning by doing, a theatrical approach. Which is an umbrella term for all the different theatrical devices that can be used to teach a course: From story telling, to role-playing, to pantomime, to set design, etc. You can teach any subject through theater games, and that is what I am trying to do. To make learning more interactive and to use students real life experiences as spring boards in lesson plans… To make teaching more personal!”
It’s early Sunday morning and, as expected, the sleeping in crowd has left the streets a bit thin of movement. Other than the coffee shop goers, open houses of worship and cyclists/runners, people are sparse wherever I roam.
I drive the rural areas of Los Angeles, needing to get out of my regular geography in lowering my daily stresses, and the sleepier the community, the lessor the population. The sun is low in the sky and the morning is breezy and cool. The lack of people enjoying this perfect start of a day hits me a little sad.
I cruise aimlessly, windows down, cool wind slapping me in the face. My mind open as I watch the world blur by. When, in passing of a second, in a small little park, I see a figure. He’s about one hundred yards to the North of my forty-mile an hour trajectory. I find myself rubber necking, eyes locked on him as a fly past the park. I slow rapidly and hit a rather aggressive U-turn. On my heavens! Am I a stalker?
But as I absorb the g-force of my extreme course change, all trepidation escapes me when a feeling of, “you are making the right choice,” enters my psyche.
I pull into the park and over the sound of welcoming dog barks, I introduce myself to Father, Husband, Human Resource Manager and Expert Downhill Mountain Bike Racer, Jim. He shares his wisdom.
“Don’t worry about the things that are going on now, or about getting old, we have to enjoy where we are. Think about the things that we worried about five years ago, they are no big deal now. They were at the time, but you can say now that they were not that big of a deal. It took me a long time to learn that lesson, and now I apply that to the way I react to things.
We have to learn to appreciate where we are, and to not stress about the little things in life.
About the future, I don’t know. But I see a time where people are getting more aware with the challenges of pollution, issues with the earth, things like that, and hopefully that will carry on.
It’s hard to say. It seems like in the last twenty years much has changed with technology and stuff. It will be amazing the see where we will be in one hundred years.
It’s going to change though. Think twenty year ago to now– cellphones, digital cameras and all the things we can’t live without. I don’t even know where to start with looking one hundred years ahead.
The question is, how much can change in one hundred years?
It’s not like we have the flying cars they said back in the sixties that we would have by the year two thousand. But, still it would be amazing to see where we will be with technology in one hundred years.
I have hope for my kids and their kids. We’ve learned a lot, and hopefully the economy will be better by then.
The advice I give my kids is to stay in school so they can rely on themselves to be professional in whatever field they choose. My daughter wants to be a doctor.”
To Jim, we appreciate you openness to chat with a stranger, and for your candor in the way you see the future. May many of us share with you in doing our part to create the beginnings of a better world to come, and know we dream as do you, that it will be amazing.
We Are All
If you had the stage… the undivided attention of the world… and all were listening… What words of wisdom, council or advice would you share?
“We are all sovereign beings.
We all have to act like that.
And do it with harmlessness. With light and love.”
Looking ahead… as far, or as close as you want to imagine (one or hundreds of years)– What do you think we should be doing now for the future to come?
“‘Acknowledge that “‘what is – IS!,” And take back our ability to react out of free will. Demanding that love and light are the only true powers of the psychical world. And that happiness is the only true indicator of how we are doing.'”
Just Be A
Little Bit Nicer
"Take life slow. Listen to people who you think are wise. Learn as much as you can and always pay attention. As far as the planet, I’m from Texas, and I think as far as globally and keeping the earth green and everything, I’m all for that. But, sometimes I wonder if what we are actually doing is fruitful, or if we are just making more people money. People are always talking about recycling, recycling. And being here in California, my son goes to a school where people are preaching a lot about it. But I’ve noticed that people don’t always practice what they preach. I remember a woman who went on and on about what she was going to do about the planet, and then I went over to her house. She had a pool, she had the hose water going and it was on a slide. The water was spewing everywhere. She didn’t recycle in her home, and stuff like that. It saddened me to recognize that she did not practice what she preached to everybody. The hypocrisy of it infuriated me, and that is what I see everywhere. I wish that people would practice what they preach, and I hate to say that I don’t see that enough. I wish that in the future, people would do that more. But I don’t see it happening as much as it needs to. I just see things getting worse. People are not teaching their children. They leave their kids with nannies, they go out partying and play. They are not raising their children, they are not instilling morals in their kids. I see kids cussing at age two or three or four years old. They are not learning any good values and it scares me. My son started out on Cary Grant and Fred Astaire movies. He says ‘yes mam’ and ‘no mam…’ He’s polite and respectful. But here in California, teachers tell him to not call them sir. One teacher even rebuked my son, saying, ‘Don’t ever call me sir, you are not in military school, it sets you apart from other children. I was also told to tell him not to do that. I completely disagreed. The next year he opened a door for a female teacher. And that teacher was completely offended that he called her mam. She said that she was not an old lady, and that she did not need to be called mam. And, I think that one time she stepped up onto a stool to get a book. My son offered to help her so she did not need to use the stool. She contacted me to tell me that I was raising my son to be a male chauvinist pig. He told me he was just trying to a gentleman. Life is changing and I don’t think it is in a positive direction. Those are the kind of things that I see daily. I’m just thinking of the future of my child. We are parents. I really hope that if one person does something good. If my son opens a door for somebody, that somebody says, ‘Oh that was nice, somebody has not opened the door for me in a long time. Then maybe a husband will start opening a door for other people. Or somebody will treat a waiter nicely as they refill a water-glass, saying ‘thank you.’ It's endless, there are all these thankless jobs out there and nobody appreciates the people who are doing these jobs. People are driving around and honking at people who are working outside in 110-degree heat. And, all they are thinking about is ‘I’ve got to get to work.'"
Two Simple Words
“I’ve always been a mechanic, it has been good to me and my family.The future? I can’t say, I think I just want to be on the beach enjoying the beauty with my wife. Working class people like us just want everybody to be peaceful and straight-forward people. I don’t know. It really does not matter religion, what matters is that the heart is good. If you work straight in your work, in your private life, in your friendship, as a husband and wife. One lie, eventually it is going to catch up, and then you are going to be in trouble. You do your best. And then, if you know you did your best… what else are you going to do more. Be honest.. That’s it, one word, honesty. It’s the only way. Again, friendship, family, whatever, business, if you lie? Yea, you can get away with it. Once, maybe twice. Third time or more? People start to see things! So don’t’ lie. Sure, we are human; we make mistakes, but be honest in what you do. There is nothing better than being able to sleep at night. If just fifty percent of us treated each other with respect and honesty, the world would be in a better place, and none of us should ever forget, that if we make a mistake, we should say two simple words… ‘I’m sorry.”
Respect Each Other
“Respect each other. There are a lot of electronics, if we have a problem, it is going to be a big problem. Everything is going that way. In my life. No. Maybe another generation."
The Right Way
“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. 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. 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.
People seem to be disconnected today 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 is 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.”
To Walk With Them
As The Same
“Be strong, not physically, but mentally. Provide yourself with more than you think you can do. Whatever it is, you can achieve it. And don’t stop dreaming, because dreams are the keys to the world. In high school, my career councilor told me that my tests showed that I had a propensity towards being a teacher, pastor or someone sharing a message. To walk with them as the same, thy here to take their pain, help them when they can not change. Not so long ago a friend and I go into a Starbucks. We give $100 to the guy at the counter and asked him to use it to cover all the next customers until it is gone. We asked him to do it with one condition, ask everyone who receives the paid for drink to pass on a good deed. My dad once told me that I have a gift; I did not understand what he was talking about at the time. But now I think I’m starting to. I’ve always been a good listener and somehow I calm people. I’m about to start my training as a Hypnotherapist, I start school next month and will be practicing in six months. I want to use the gifts that have been given to me to help others. I hope I’ve found a way to do it. I want things get better politically, the government is going crazy. Health wise, everyone in on drugs! I’m scared for the future. Too many of my friends have fallen to hard drugs like XTC and Cocaine. I’ve seen it ruin their lives. I remember learning this in high school, stay away from drugs, being told that Marijuana is a gateway drug. I even had to end my relationship with my girlfriend. She changed for the worst after getting into smoking Marijuana. She became an angry person, not the person who I knew before her addiction."
If you had the stage and all the world were listening… What words of wisdom, council or advice would you share?
Looking ahead, as far or as close as you want to imagine (one or hundreds of years)– What do you think we should do now for the future to come?
“There is nothing to suggest that life is serious. You get out of it what you put in.
People are connecting with each other in ways that we never thought possible. We’re starting to understand each other better and realize that our basic instinctive drivers are the same – Everyone wants happiness (in whatever form) for themselves and the people they love, regardless of their gender, race, age, country of origin – those are nothing more than labels that we allocate so that we can make sense of the world. The biggest thing that divides us all is money – without it, we’d level the playing field.
I always liked Gene Rodenbury’s vision of a world free of hunger and money where boundaries between nations are meaningless and we all share the planet and work only for the betterment of ourselves, each other and the good of the planet. But I’m an idealist; I doubt I’ll see such a thing in my current lifetime.
The best we can do is make the most of the life that we have, and as I say above, not take it too seriously – for me happiness is about fun, and where’s the fun in taking yourself too seriously!”
“It’s really about making people comfortable, many of my customers don’t feel well when they come to my pharmacy. I do my best to let them know that I care. Whatever way life takes you, follow your inside, your persona, how you feel about your presence on Earth, and somehow let it be the guide in interfering with your choices.”
If you had the stage and the undivided attention of the world, and all were listening, what words of wisdom, council or advice would you share?
“Never forget how connected we all truly are. The idea that we are separate or different is an illusion. Each of us has a little spark of Love at our core, and it binds us together with all the other little sparks in every other person. We crave connection and belonging, and yet we ignore the most fundamental way in which we are most connected. Lay down the judgments – no one is better or worse. We are all just the same as you.
Looking ahead, as far, or as close as you want to imagine (one or hundreds of years)– What do you think we should be doing now for the future to come?
“Just stop judging.
We are all the same.
Come from a place of Love and recognize our union.”
You Can Do This,
Figure It Out"
“’I’ll hand down some advice that I read in a book, it is called ‘The Last Lecture.’
Basically it talks about people making promised that they make, and what to believe from people— what they tell you.
The advice was to judge a person not by what they say, but by their actions. I take that with everything that I do. People can say anything, it is easier to say than to do. And when someone does something it really proves their character and it proves the type of person that they are.
When I think about the future, I mainly think about having kids and of the future I want them to have. I think about the kind of world that they will be living in, and how it will shape them in who they are later on, and when I think about it, probably ten years from now when I have kids, I question what the world will by like? And I think there will probably be some kind of progression of disconnection between people. I see it happening now and I don’t see it improving. I think that disconnection has something to do with technology, even though the point of technology is to connect people in other ways. But, a lot of the times people forget how to really connect with other people on a personal level.
I work at a middle school and I see kids with information at their fingertips. It is so easy for them to get information than when I was younger when you had to actually go to the library and look up books. I remember that is what research was like for me. It astounds me how kids want to know it now and how they will find a way to get it now.
It is important, especially for kids, to learn how to do it old school. To go to a library and to look something up. To put down the technology for just a minute, and just remember what it should be like, and to remember how we did it back then.
It’s good know technology and to be current, because it does do so much good. But we have to know it all. And with kids, the more they know the better they are. It never hurts to know the traditional stuff. Technology is not the only solution; we need to learn how to overcome things without getting lost in it.
It really surprises me, it not that hard. Come on… you can do this… figure it out."
Handle It Or
Be a Victim
“It’s impossible to go through life without problems. Everybody feels the way you do; what you do with it is up to you. What you do with it is up to you. You can either handle it, or you can be a victim.”
In The Mirror
"Modern man thinks he is wide-awake, with his third eye open and wise to the world. But the wiser he thinks he is, the more insane he looks in the mirror of reason. It’s all about self-reflection, you have to know yourself, and not be an asshole. We have to respect each other, but also need to learn to be a good judge of character. To not tiptoe through the tulips; but to watch out for the landmines. I came from a big family. Grew up with a lot of kids around me. I saw a lot of mistakes as well as made a few of my own. I learned from what I saw and did. What is important is that we have to use common sense, and be wary to take caution. Like my mom used to say, ‘Wear your sweater!’ If things keep up the way they are going, we are going to eventually become so numb. Especially if we listen to our politicians, they are like car salesmen, trying to sell the dream. Jim Jones did that with Jonestown and created his blind following. Look what happened to his followers. People have to come together and learn to trust who is trustworthy, but in living we have to be wary."
The lighter the luggage,
the bigger the smile
"'Sometimes we don’t even know what the baggage is. Life most often tells us what it is, and we need to eliminate it, whatever it is. The least worries, or the least baggage, that we carry with us, in many aspects, starting with the material tasks, the bigger the smile! You don’t need to have a lot to give a lot. There is nothing that matters about the journey and tide, what does matter is the spiritual aspect of why we are doing what we do, rather than focusing on the materialistic things.
I had a dream to be a Ballerina at a very young age. I was very shy, and dance was a way for me to communicate without words. Then life took that away when I had an injury, and then, against all predictions, I got a career in communications, which for someone as shy as I was as a child was… as my father said, ‘Was a miracle.’
Now, I’ve left all that the world considers success, position, money and all that, leaving a career in communications to become a dance and theater teacher. Which brings me back to what I am saying, ‘The lighter the luggage the bigger the smile.’
When I let go of many of the reward of being quote, unquote, successful in the eyes of others, I truly became successful in the eyes of myself. Now I feel very lucky and am enjoying my life very much.
My friends ask me, ‘How could you leave a successful career in communications?
I tell them, ‘I thought it would be difficult, but it was really easy, once I made the decision. It was a blessing in disguise.
I’m probably not the person to predict the future. I see greatness and I see light. I see people evolving to another place. I don’t have too many facts socially, but still, I see a big light. I see beauty and I see so much awareness. I truly believe that people really want peace and harmony and to be happy. All of us.
If everybody could pay if forward? If everybody could just smile at each other, just smile randomly, one hundred times a day, it would be a much better world.
I want my ten-year old to live in that much happier world
I want the fairy tail!”
Make Love Not War
“We want to experience a different culture than that of Los Angeles. It’s really cool what you are doing with 365. It reminds me of a book a read by a British professor. In this book the author studied modern perspectives on luck, and in it the first thing that was disproved was superstition. What it did prove was that luck is not by chance, it often fell more on people who regularly engaged in with people. Showing that people, who were not myopic in looking at the broader world, had a greater percentage of good fortune falls upon them. Not necessarily from the people who they engaged with, but from unknown and unfamiliar sources. Love one another. Make love not war! I say it not just tongue in cheek. The problem is real. We have so much world conflict going on now… and there doesn’t seem to be any resolution and I see no end to it. There are more wars now than any other time in world history. And a lot of the reasons are frivolous. There are so many innocent people dying for it… so much strife. We have to find a way of resolving our differences without killing each other. I don’t know what it will take. And the problem is getting bigger. We are going to become a more populated world. As we do there is going to be a lot more competition for resources. Whether it is water, food, fuel, whatever it is, etc. There is a lot of real estate out there to occupy, but there is only a limited amount of natural resources. We are depleting those resources while we are also polluting our world. Unless we have some kind of a major overhaul in the way we think and look for ways to use resources, and to regenerate what we have already used up, we’re heading toward a pretty touch future. We insulate ourselves with money, and the more people have, the less crap they have to take from the world. That is not a healthy way to think. My fear is that twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years from now we are going to end up with these enclaves of the wealthy… world communities? We have them now, but for the future the risk is even more so. I fear it is going to be the lessor’s outside of the wall and the moat is going to be there with the Alligators. That is no way to live as human beings.”