Hello and thank you for stopping by to check out week 37 of the 365 More People Pictures project. Happy Mother's Day to everyone who nurtures. And Mom, thank you for being the best mom. I didn't make it easy for you. I love you, and appreciate everything you do, and all that you are.
Day 252 - Laura
This is Laura. We met at the park.
"My children," Laura answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.
When I asked Laura if she's recently performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, she explained she was actually the recipient of an act of kindness right then. Her Mother-in-Law was watching her youngest so she was able to be out for a while.
"To be a Mom...I think I knew that since I was little," Laura answered, when I asked her life's purpose.
When I asked Laura something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she said that she didn't really feel like she was there yet. "I feel like I'm not done with school, not working...I'm just a Mom."
I've been thinking about Laura, and noticed that we have a tendency, when identifying our successes, to consider only past or completed achievements. Some of our greatest successes are actually happening in the present. A success isn't always a past accomplishment. Some of our greatest successes are simply the way we live currently and that which we're currently striving to achieve. Finishing a marathon isn't so much about race day when you set out to do 26.2 miles and cross that finish line - it's about the months of training that you put in before that day. The success isn't that you completed 26.2 miles, crossed a finish line and earned a medal. Race day is more like thousands of people getting together in celebration of their months and months of successful training. We can place so much value on crossing the finish line, that we forget to celebrate that which got us to the start line.
Thank you, Laura. You're a living success. You're a Mom.
Day 253 - Andy
This is Andy. We met on the street. I could tell he was in a hurry, but he stopped to let me take his picture and quickly answer the questions.
"My kids," Andy said, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
Andy's recent act of kindness was that he reached out to a relative.
"Fulfillment," Andy answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
When I asked Andy something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he answered, "balance."
Thank you, Andy.
Day 254 - John
This is John. We met walking down the street.
The happiest thing happening in John's life right now is that he's getting married in September.
John's recent act of kindness is that he mowed and aerated his elderly neighbor's lawn. John is about the sweetest neighbor ever. I wish all elders could have a next door neighbor as nice as John.
"To help others," John answered, when I asked his life's purpose. John is currently going to school to become a doctor. A Carhartt-wearing, lawn-aerating, neighborly doctor is pretty much the best kind of doctor in the world. I think John is going on to do great things and help many people.
"My ability to put others at ease," John answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success.
Thank you, John. Best wishes to you.
Day 255 - Justine
This is Justine. We met walking down the street. She looked a little lost, but I found her.
The happiest thing happening in her life right now is her new job being a Nanny for a family she really likes and enjoys.
Justine's recent act of kindness is that she helped her overwhelmed roommate by doing her dishes. Justine knows how busy her roommate is currently, and she's been doing extra chores to help her roommate however she can. "It's small," Justine minimized. But to her roomie, it's probably a huge relief!
"I'm just figuring myself out," Justine answered, when I asked her life's purpose or personal mission statement. Like Justine, I think we're all just trying to figure ourselves out.
"I made it here from New Jersey," Justine answered, when I asked something about herself which she would consider to be a success. Have you noticed how many people we've met who have just completely uprooted and started a brand new life for themselves? It takes a grand sense of adventure and faith to make such a bold move. I'm inspired by Justine and everyone like her.
After we were finished, I asked Justine if she was lost, explaining she appeared to have been looking for something when I approached her. She said she was looking for the shoe repair shop. I walk by there every day and two of the guys have been subjects in this project, so I knew exactly where she wanted to go. I walked with Justine down to the shop where we said our good-byes and well-wishes.
Thank you, Justine.
Day 256 - Johnny D.
This is Johnny D. we met at Mt. Tabor Park.
I regretted not having a recorder. Johnny D's answers were all so poetic, but there was no way I could keep up to him with just a pen and journal. He was special, and so articulate, I wish I could have done a better job of capturing his words.
"Music - inspirational music with great friends," Johnny D. said, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
When I asked Johnny D. if he's recently performed an act of kindness, he answered, "I try to practice intentional and random acts of kindness." Johnny D. explained that he's a "professional philanthropist, environmentalist, and justice activist." Johny D.'s life's work, his job, is actually performing kindness. "I'm just trying to make the world a better place," Johnny D. added. Wow!
"To lovingly and ingeniously activate people to consciously celebrate, and make the world a better place through play," Johnny D. said, is his personal mission statement.
When I asked Johnny D. something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he answered, "the ability to balance wonderful extremes: work & play, discipline & improvisation, focus and release, and being able to dance with equipoise between the two."
Johnny D. is the kind of person with whom you just want to talk with for hours and hours.
Thank you for all you do, Johnny D. Thank you.
Day 257 - Patrick
This is Patrick.
"Meeting my goal physique," Patrick answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
Patrick was recently on the receiving end of an act of kindness when the person in line ahead of him at a coffee shop, bought his coffee.
"Travel," Patrick said, is his life's purpose.
Something about himself which he considers to be a success, is that he graduated college in 4 years.
Thank you, Patrick.
Day 258 - Buggsy and Ozzy.
This is Gary, but his friends call him Buggsy. He was out walking his dog when we met. His dog, I would guess to be a Bichon Frise, is named Ozzy. "After Ozzy Osbourne," Buggsy said. Buggsy is one of the few people who actually talked to me first. He said hello as I walked near his direction, remarked about my camera and told me I would get lots of great pictures in the park. Instead of continuing onto the park which is where I was headed when I met Buggsy and Ozzy, I explained the project and asked Buggsy if I could take his picture. Buggsy was just an absolutely charming person.
"Being able to walk my dog, my health, and being able to say hi to people like you," Buggsy answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
When I asked Buggsy if he's recently performed an act of kindness or been on the receiving end of kindness, he said that he enjoys meeting people. He often walks downtown near the park and talks with homeless people. He tries to help them in ways that will keep them healthy and moving in a direction to help their lifestyle. Buggsy said that he's aware he can't change their lifestyle, but he can help provide direction.
Buggsy then added that on the receiving end, he receives love and kindness from people. As we were talking, Buggsy said hello to every person who walked by. I gathered that he knew several people, and those he didn't, he greeted anyway, just as he had greeted me. Buggsy gives so much kindness, if he receives back only a fraction of all that he gives, he would be a very rich man. Rich in love and kindness.
"To be honest, fair and kind. I've done that in business and throughout my life in general," Buggsy said, when I asked his life's purpose.
When I asked Buggsy something about himself which he considers to be a success, he dismissed success in business and said that his greatest success was his marriage of 44 years. His wife recently passed away, and now Buggsy and Ozzy are now doing their best to continue on without her.
Buggsy is another great and kind soul and I'm so glad this project has led me to meet so many beautiful people. When we were finished, we said goodbye with a handshake and we both left with tears in our eyes. Well, I know I had tears in my eyes and I'm pretty sure Buggsy did too. He repeatedly thanked me for visiting with him and taking his picture. There was nothing I could say to make him realize that it was I who was grateful and thankful for him.
Thank you, Buggsy. Thank you for being you.
Here's a summary of the life's purposes and personal mission statements from this week's subjects:
- To be a Mom
- To help others.
- I'm just figuring myself out.
- To lovingly and ingeniously activate people to consciously celebrate, and make the world a better place through play.
- To be honest, fair and kind.
Thank you to each and every subject in the project, and to you for following along.