That’s Gonna Leave a Mark
It is no secret. There is nothing I am trying to hide about the fact, that if you are reading this blog post, you are one of about twenty on average, or at most fifty, people that might consider these words. I do not know who reads the posts unless a comment is left. I have never sent out an email blast to what are called, “subscribers” in order to generate more of them. And while it might be popular to say something along the lines of, “I just do it for therapy”, that is not the case for me. But it is time I was honest about my intentions. Both with myself, and with readers.
Restingtimes.com was started a couple of years ago, with the intent of writing longer stories than I might post on Facebook, with the encouragement, of those who found encouragement, from what was written on social media. My wife Michelle, friends Sandra, Ann Rita, Jennifer, Donna, and Janice come to mind. As well as some family members including my aunt Vi, and of course my mother, who was always more impressed with my ventures than anyone. What is found here are simply stories, that, as it turns out, are used to recommend different viewpoints, offerings of some advice, but hopefully, always, encouragement to anyone who might read the articles.
Here is what is going on with me (for those that might be interested). My job is going well. Working with teams of people who help make teams of people better at car washing AND with the goal of making a difference in the lives of customers and team members agrees with me. I find the work fulfilling. Full disclosure here, sometimes the COO of the company I work for reads this blog. Anyone I speak with hears this in a variety of ways whenever the topic comes up. For me, the work I do for a living, and the goal I have for interactions with others, are fortunately the same. It is plainly stated, make a difference.
There is a book. It is self-published. It is available on Amazon.com in both e-book and paperback formats. Most of what is contained in the pages are what is available for free on this website, but in a collected way for others to read. I do not spend my time selling it, promoting it, or offering it to those that do not want it. As far as I know, there has not been a review of the book and I only know one person that has read it well enough to ask me questions about it (I will get into that momentarily). It is fun for me. And now I can say to my mother in heaven, or in my heart, or however that works, it is done.
Carter (my eleven-year old son) and I have started a project to help alleviate poverty in the world. It sounds impressive, and perhaps one day it will be, but for now, compassionwaves.com (it is live, but locked for proofing now, if you would like to review it and help proof, please contact me) offers greeting cards, t-shirts, stickers, etc. Both for sale and for distribution. Our thought came from a documentary on Netflix about social capitalism, called “A New Capitalism”. There is a quote by Andre Albuquerque of Fundador Do Terra Nova, there that conveys the thought, “If eliminating poverty was done simply out of brotherly love, it might take 5,000 years, and if eliminating poverty were good business for everyone, it might only take 500 years”.
We will give it a go. We will do what we can. We are allowing ourselves to dream big, try, and whether it fails or it is a great success, we will learn. Honestly, it is a way to teach Carter that even a positive thought for those that need help, will help. We are planting seeds of kindness and compassion. And while, as might be expected, he is excited about profits, he will learn that profit without sowing those seeds limits the reward.
If all goes well and as planned, I will have an article in a car wash magazine. It was submitted a few months ago. I will officially be, “a published author”. That, and $5.45, maybe more, will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
This is what is going on. There is not a great meaning to any of what I am saying in this article thus far. But what I am offering is as much to myself as it is to anyone, which, unlike what I stated earlier, might just be a little therapy for me. But it goes back to what I would like to see from my work. From my life. From the impressions I gently leave in the lives of others.
Not now and not with my knowing. Several years from now, even. Someone might remember an encounter, they may recall a word of encouragement, they might happen upon what was written years prior, and they might be comforted in some small way. For the record, I would much rather be remembered twenty years from now in a conversation.
I imagine it going something like, “Remember that balding, big guy, that used to work with us? He always told “dad jokes” and drank Diet Mountain Dew. One time he told me…”.
Or, “One time I needed this or that, and this dude came out of nowhere smiling and helped me”.
Or better even still, “My Uncle, or my brother, or my husband, or my son-in-law, or my dad, etc, used to say… or left me a note one time… or always said he loved me”.
Sam Cooke sang a song in 1965 titled, “A Change Is Gonna Come“. It was about a different struggle. It was about things more real than anything than I have ever experienced. He sings in that song, “I was born by the river in a little tent, and just like that river I’ve been running every since…It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die, cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky… But I know a change gonna come”. I wonder if that change has come. I wonder if it was for the better. I grew up hearing Bob Dylan sing, “The Times They Are a Changin”, but lately I feel more like the Bob Dylan song, written later in his life, “Things Have Changed“. Things keep changing. That is the only thing I know. I hope to be a part of what is considered positive change.
And back to the person who has read, reviewed, and asked questions about the stories in the book, Taking the Time: Experiments in Kindness? That is my eleven-year old Carter. And that is all the validation I need that it was worth compiling. He did not say he enjoyed it, he did not comment on how well it was or was not written, he smiled and asked questions as if I had just told him there was gold in the back yard. And this passing down of stories. This sharing of my past to shape his future. This is parenting. This is possibility shared with those in your charge. This permission to think of possibility, in the face of those who might sternly advise only one method of thought, is the only legacy I am concerned with leaving in the world.