Hello! Thank you for checking in on week 42 of The 365 More People Pictures project.
Day 287 - Elaine
This is Elaine. She's been a family friend for going on 4 decades. I first met Elaine when she and my mom worked in the same salon together.
"I feel happy every day," Elaine answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now. Elaine added, "I feel blessed...I feel at peace with life in general."
I knew when I asked Elaine if she'd recently performed an act of kindness, that we could have been there all afternoon if she'd listed everything she had just done in just the past week. "I want to take all of my talents and use them to help other people," Elaine said. Elaine's talents are many. She can build anything, demo anything, she's a good cook, loves yard work and landscaping, she's a hair stylist and a mechanic. She's also just an all-around good person, and she's been a kind friend to my mom and family.
In addition to having just tended to the lawn care for a couple of her neighbors, she had also just fixed a neighbor's truck. The neighbor had just paid over $1,100 to a mechanic to fix his work truck but when he went out to start it the next day to go to work, the truck wouldn't start. Desperate to get to work and tapped out after having just paid all that money to a mechanic, he asked Elaine if she could take a look at the truck. Elaine had a look, identified the problem, and then went to the parts store and paid for the parts to fix the truck. Knowing that her neighbor was in a financial bind because he had just forked over $1,100 to a different mechanic, she paid for the parts knowing he'd pay her back when he could.
Elaine went to work on the truck. Finished, and confident in her work, she instructed the neighbor to get in and start it up. "I didn't say try to start it, I said, start it," Elaine said with confidence. And guess what...it started right up!
"To serve God to the best of my ability," Elaine answered, when I asked her life's purpose.
When I asked Elaine something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered, "everything I have set out to do, I have done...and then some." Elaine is not boastful. She recognizes and respects her ability to set her mind to do something, and then accomplish her goal.
Thank you, Elaine. Thank you for all that you do for us.
Day 288 - Peter
This is Peter. He was sitting outside a coffee shop on a bright and sunny day in downtown Vancouver. I didn't know when I approached him, that he was actually campaigning for the position of Port Commissioner.
Peter agreed to let me take his picture for the project, so I joined him at his table.
"I wake up every morning to a wonderful woman, my wife, " Peter answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
When I asked Peter if he had recently performed an act of kindness, he explained that he had just been honored for saving a person's life earlier in the year, by performing CPR. Impressed and reality-stricken, I made a remark that you never really think that you're going to ever use what you learn in a CPR class, and that it was a good thing he had been paying attention in class. In a great coincidence, it turned out that Peter is a CPR Instructor! Wow! For the person whose life Peter saved, it was their luckiest unlucky day to have a CPR Instructor near by.
"To make the world a better place," Peter answered, when I asked his life's purpose. Peter is living his mission, on a personal level, and as he seeks to become our city's Port Commissioner. You can learn more about Peter, here on his website: Peter Harrison for Port Commissioner
When I asked Peter something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he answered that, "every day I get up and find something to be happy about."
Thank you, Peter. Wishing you good luck!
Day 289 - Bette
This is Bette. In my search for a subject, I bumped into Bette 2 or 3 times as I was wandering around the Hollywood District. Each time, she was a little bit too far away until we just finally ran right into each other and I was then able to ask if she would be in the project.
The happiest thing happening in Bette's life right now is Love.
Bette performs acts of kindness all the time and is involved in a Facebook page, "Carry out Kindness." The page is positive, encouraging and uplifting and if you're looking to hear more good messages sprinkled in all of the not-so-positive stuff that shows up on your Facebook feed, do give them a like. Click here to link to the Carry Out Kindness Facebook page. If you've been following along on this project, I know you'll like the message from Carry Out Kindness.
"To help people find their soul purpose," Bette answered, when I asked her life's purpose. One way Bette does this is through the work she does with her company, Shen Men Feng Shui. Her business card says, "I want to help you create your space where you believe you can accomplish anything." I love this! Bette briefly explained the importance of being happy in our home/living space, so that it helps us be happy and productive when we're not at home.
I loved visiting with Bette. Bumping into her so many times as she was walking her dog, reminded me that throughout most of this project, I've really had little to nothing to do with the selection process of who was going to be the person of the day. It's been as though the majority of the people I've met and included in this project were not selected by me, but rather, just placed before me. It feels like everyone I met, was someone I was supposed to meet that day.
Thank you, Bette. Thank you for spreading kindness to us all.
Day 290 - Melayna
This is Melayna. We met in Pioneer Courthouse Square, in Portland. I'm pretty sure Melayna is the sweetest girl in Portland.
When we met, the happiest thing happening in Melayna's life was an upcoming trip to Europe with her family. Melayna explained that she was going to surprise her Mom who had no idea that Melayna was going to be able to take the trip with her and Melayna's brother. Melayna and her brother wanted to do something special for their hard-working mother and I have a feeling this surprise trip for their mom turned out to be one of her life's highlights. Melayna spoke about her mom with so much love, it made me tear up listening to her adoration of her mother, because it's how I feel about my own mom too.
Melayna works at an optometrist's office and her act of kindness is that she goes above and beyond to connect with her patients. "I live my life in a positive way," Melayna explained. Melayna gives freely of herself, her kindness, and her positive nature. You can see her warm spirit spilling out of her picture.
If I can't get a genuine smile from someone, it's become my preference to aim for a pensive, serious look. When I asked Melayna for a serious look, we both cracked up and totally laughed like we were old friends. We just couldn't do it. At some point I realized there was no need to force a serious look when the person before me radiated such genuine happiness and positivity. In Melayna's case, a more serious look would have been counter to her actual true nature. She is a little ray of sunshine. Just look at her smile.
"I can make a difference in someone's life in just a few minutes by just allowing people to open up," Melayna answered, when I asked her life's purpose. Melayna is in the process of transitioning from her job in the optometrist's office, to becoming a yoga instructor. Melanya's ability to instantly connect with people, combined with her kindness and positivity, is going to make her an excellent yoga instructor. Soon, she will not only be influencing and strengthening others mentally and emotionally, but physically as well.
When I asked Melayna something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered, "Number 1, is my positivity - the way I see the world." "There's so much beauty around us, in everyone and in every thing," Melayna added. Melayna, you are the beauty!
Melayna and I visited for a little while longer before going our separate ways. Once again, I left feeling so grateful for the people I've met in this project. We hugged before departing, and I was a little bit sad to say good-bye to the stranger-turned-friend that I had just met.
Melayna, thank you for your kindness and sweet nature. You are one one amazing woman!
Day 291 - Stevzy, Dominic, and Josh
This is Stevezy (left), Dominic (center), and Josh (right), and they are half of the band, The Sindicate. (and their friend) I first learned of The Sindicate last year at a free convert/festival in downtown Vancouver, called Couve Fest. Portland is rich in great talent and great bands, but I had no idea there are also some great bands in Vancouver as well. The Sindicate being one of them.
The guys were playing at an intimate spot, The Top Shelf, so I headed down to see them again. I knew I also needed to find a subject for the day, but I didn't realize I'd get the chance to ask some of the guys to be in the project!
Stevzy was recently the recipient of an act of kindness when his neighbor, a stranger, saw that he was injured and brought him an assortment of knee braces to help him with his recovery. Stevzy was actually wearing one when we met!
The happiest thing happening in Dominic's life right now is his daughter.
Josh's life's purpose: "I play music to connect with people."
You can learn more about The Sindicate, here on their website. Catch one of their shows if you can!
Thank you, guys!
Day 292 - Bex
This is Bex. Her name is as cool as her style.
The happiest thing happening in Bex's life right now is her upcoming trip to Europe. I thought back to Melayna from a few days before and thought how cool it would be if somehow Bex and Melayna ended up meeting, but their trips were spaced far enough apart that their paths wouldn't cross.
Bex's recent act of kindness is that she brought her co-worker a brownie.
"To positively contribute to the people around me," Bex answered, when I asked her life's purpose. Bex fulfills this purpose in her job as a teacher.
When I asked Bex something about herself which she would considered to be a success, she answered with a huge smile, "I have two incredible cats. They are my success." (And I think Bex's cat-eye glasses are a success, too!)
Thank you, Bex!
Day 293 - Cha Cha
This is Cha Cha. We met at the bus stop. Cha Cha is wise beyond her years.
"My spiritual journey," Cha Cha answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now. Her thoughts are becoming reality, she explained.
Cha Cha's recent act of kindness is that she gave her co-worker bus fare.
"To wake everyone up," Cha Cha said, when I asked her life's purpose. I asked Cha Cha how she would set out to do that, and she explained it would be through her music and speaking events. I believe in Cha Cha. The girl has a story to tell, and I can't wait until we hear it. I hope she's successful in becoming our alarm clock. "Everything is everything, and we're all in one," Cha Cha said to me. I've never been able to adequately articulate or express my thoughts and feelings about my own spiritual journey, but if we've traveled the same path, you will completely understand the significance in Cha Cha's words - "Everything is everything, and we are all in one." Someday, I will learn how to better articulate my thoughts and experiences, but the feeling of enlightenment, and of both simultaneous awe and understanding, that happens the moment we recognize the connectedness of all humans, all beings, is what Cha Cha was explaining.
"My soul is a success...the fact that I'm grounded," Cha Cha answered, when I asked something about herself which she would consider to be a success. Cha Cha explained that she's letting go of ego, "I'm like a child, progressing."
Thank you, Cha Cha. Safe travels.
Here's a summary of the personal mission statements and life's purposes of the subjects from this week:
- To serve God to the best of my ability.
- To make the world a better place.
- I can make a difference in someone's life in just a few minutes by just allowing people to open up.
- I play music to connect with people.
- To positively contribute to the people around me.
- To wake everyone up.
Thank you to all of the subjects in this project, and to you, for following along.