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.'”
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."
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."
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.”
Nobody is a Stranger
“Everything happens for a reason and nobody is a stranger. I grew up in a mixed religion home. My Dad was Christian and my Mom Jewish. It was hard, and through this I discovered my own true spirituality, not any particular religion, just the realization that God is God. In the end, what will matter is how much we loved ~ our children, our mates, our families, our friends, everyone we knew, everyone who traveled with us during our brief visit to this unbearably lovely place. What will matter is the good we did, not the good we expected others to do. Recognizing, accepting and expressing our authentic interior reality lies at the heart of honesty; only when we are honest with ourselves can we speak honestly with anyone else. In the sense of integrity, honesty entails acting in line with higher laws despite negative impulses to the contrary. Tell me what you know and you will entertain me, but tell me how you feel and you will intrigue me. I wish for a future where people are more highly evolved. A world where more connect as a whole at a spiritual level, rid of oppression, war and contention, and a people able to connect regardless of religion.”
A More Conscious World
“Avoid stereotypes. We need to not judge people. Like, if you know someone is Muslim, or Jewish or a different ethnicities, or from different religious backgrounds. We must avoid stereotypes. We need to try to know each person on an individual level; if everyone would practice that, the world would be a much more peaceful place. Too many people get victimized by general stereotypes that other people create, either politicians or ordinary people. It does not matter where it starts we just have to treat each other better. I’m quite idealistic, I know, but I hope that all countries will one day merge under one government. A government that keeps things in order, but I’m a liberal, so a government that does not too much meddle in people’s lives. People forget what horrible things are happening in other parts of the world and it is happening; people are getting killed. I would like to see a world where everyone has a more awake consciousness towards other humans. The problem is that this just doesn’t come ordinary to them in focusing on the fact that people are getting killed or dying of hunger or all that. I just hope for a more conscious world.”
Expression and Experience
“The age-old question as to what is the meaning of life is found in two words: expression and experience. Every living and non-living thing is expressing a quality of that which created it. So what we express… we will experience… Period!
Look at an atom, electrons spinning around, communicating, the nucleus is the mother and the electrons are the children. And that analogy pulls it all together so you can see it very clearly. I used to work with Uri Geller on the Powers of the Paranormal. Uri told me to be careful with my gifts and to not show them off. I was under a contract to perform and at that moment I realized I had to change my life. I was getting famous, it was turning me into a product and I did not like it. That is when I went into finance. I negotiated out of the contract and that is when I moved into the financial business. I was very successful… became very rich in five years. But due to the greed and dishonesty of others I lost it when I moved from Texas to California. I even realized that my marriage was under false pretenses, so I gave what I had left to her and I’m much happier now. The world at large? Thoughts and things are very much alike. And, we should approach life as if it is a thought and not a thing. Move the words around, things are thoughts, and not thoughts are things. Your experience meets with your expression to create unique points of attraction. Not so much as drawing something to you. That requires a great labor of thought. But if we can learn to use our thoughts as platforms to reach out and tether onto the dream and draw it in. I call it Metaphynetics. I see democracy coming around! It’s too beautiful of an idea to throw to the wayside, because none of the other systems have worked as well: And with that, most of the world population being Muslim and when they start seeing how to separate church and state, then that progress will relieve much poverty. You see most of those impoverished nations are Muslim nations. It not so much the religion, but you can’t do business with someone in the name of Ala. Faith, that being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen. Faith: that’s what our currency is based on but we are the collateral. So if we have faith in each other, and that the system of democracy, the one that is as close to God’s system of man doing business with man. It will all go right back to expression and experience. Patience is the expectancy of good. And when you are waiting for something good, it seems like it takes longer. It feels that way because the body has a clock in it… Call it saccadic rhythms. What we fear seems to come quicker because we are on Adrenalin at that point. After I lost my wealth, it made me check my core. The whole field of humanity opened up to me, and it will for anyone if they operate from love… No matter where they are… and if they are truly doing it. In five of ten years… Islam will create a separation of church and state. Technology will overrule, and peace will start to expand."
“Awareness is the only way we can make change. Our behavior as humans being, for all of us, is a default mode. It is like a computer. It’s how we have programmed ourselves. We have to reprogram ourselves from the past. You cannot change the present if you disregard everything you have done up until now. And that default mode is there for a reason. And, if you want to change, you have to be aware. In our comfort zone we are in that default mode that we did yesterday, and the day before, and the year before. You have you have the desire to change; you have to look outside of that default zone, even if it is uncomfortable. You have to want to change, and for many that’s not easy. Too many people are trapped in the concept of how old am I? What does that mean? And how old you are? Whatever number it is, it only tells us how long you have been here. It really does not tell us much of anything else, does it? You have to ask, what are you doing here and why are you doing what you do while you are here? It is far more important than how long you are here. We should be laughing more, if you focus on time only you are putting yourself in a prison. If you want to do something… do it. Stop looking at time. Age is an excuse. Find a way to have fun in whatever you do. Life is nothing more than an experience. It’s all about us interpreting and making choices and how we interpret. We are born to see if we can see through the illusion. Fear creates an illusion that we ‘can’t,’ and if we buy into the illusion it become real. There is an infinite intelligence, one presence, one power in this universe and we are not separate from it. It doesn’t matter what religion you may practice, or doctrines you follow, if you are breathing right now then this one presence, this one power, one life is breathing you to be you… so you are not separate from it. It permeates through every cell of your body, vibrates in all your energy. With this you can always know that you are connected, there is no ‘alone.’ Second, I would tell people, ‘beauty’ has nothing to do with what someone or something looks like. Beauty is a feeling. When we look at the ocean, the mountains, a painting, a person, it is the feeling it gives us that determines if we think it is beautiful. So actually, beauty is in the heart of the beholder. Spend less time worrying about how long the path is and focus more concern on what you’re doing on the path. It’s never the number of years that matter; it’s what you do with the ones you have. Baby steps will get us to the top of the mountain.”
“Live life to the fullest, Time to work is time to work, time to play is time to play. I’m in for anything that brings people together. Work hard, play later. Money is not everything. Health is golden. Be willing to sacrifice wasted time to stay focused. Live life to the fullest. It’s not an unusual thing to get a high-five from an unknown fellow biker. As a kid I liked speed; biking is a big part of my life, it frees me and allows my to relax. Be your own boss, based out of my home, Vietnam. To be the biggest import/export business in the world.”
“Be present and mindful. Not an easy thing to do, to not think about the past, or the future, but to live life in the moment. And Kindness can come from there. To do it you have to follow your heart and be aware enough to know we are all swayed by the media, politics and society. Enforce your self-authority over all these outside influences in doing what is right for self and others. It’s all about ethics and morals. There are so many good, kind and caring people in the world. I moved to Los Angeles to follow an acting career. After awhile I realized that my heart was not into it. I wanted to look beyond myself in helping others. When I started school, I wanted to work with children and trauma. But as I spend time in my internship, working in a community mental health center, I’ve been exposed to many different cases and am learning a lot. I think I’ll stay here for now and hope to work with more families. I work at least sixty hours a week, class, my unpaid internship and my moneymaking job (administrative assistant). Why did you commit to a 365-day project with all you have to do? First, I was a little bored and was looking for a challenge. A little bored? Sixty-plus hours a week and a little bored, but the more I got into it, the better it felt. It is great to be a part of something positive and I’ve grown from the experience. We will always be evolving and there is much to learn. If I could do it all again, I would study neuroscience. There is so much going on in that field, and it would be exciting to be part of it. What is fascinating is how study of the brain is linking to the treatment of trauma.”
Spend Time Outside!
“Spend time outside! Tomorrow I start a new job, so I’m getting in all the outdoor time I can find before I go to the office. I’m tired of the little gestures. If we are going to change, we have to do more, get involved, and educate ourselves. It is amazing how little knowledge our current people know about the environmental impact of industry and population. I’ve been studying this stuff for years and I haven’t even touched the surface of it. Sure, it is a good thing to recycle our plastics. The positive impact of that alone is great. Yes, I realize we are all busy and can’t find time to know it all. Bronwyn even accepts this in stating, ‘I have been studying the environment for years, and there is no way I can know it all.’ We need to push a little harder in doing our part. I’d love to see a day when we are doing more good for the planet than harm.”