NOW is the time!
I want YOU to be a part of a bigger vision. Margaret Mead, a noted American cultural anthropologist once wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Before I begin this latest chapter however, I’d like to thank and welcome all of you who have graciously joined this page. I can assure you, your “presence” here is MY “present” and I’m honored with your participation!
For those of you who have recently joined, a little bit about “Gusto.” Gusto was a nickname given to me by my father when I was just a young boy growing up on a small farm in Western Kansas. Of course, that’s just an extension of my first name and I’m not sure why I was called that to begin with. Perhaps it was because I showed signs of “passion” even then as a young boy. As the years went by and I grew into adult-hood, the name quickly faded from memory. However, shortly after I joined Facebook about two years ago, one of my friends on my personal page called me that in passing one day. Obviously, it still “sticks” after all these years!
Elaborating further about “Gusto”, one morning in early April 2010, shortly after arriving here in Southern California by way of my home state of Kansas, I awoke with a vision. I sat down to my computer and the next thing I knew my fingers had excitedly typed out these words; gustoramblings.com, the title of the website. “Gusto” for my nickname of course, and “Ramblings” since I tend to be rather verbose, a tendency, however, that has proven time and again to be a “Source of Inspiration” for many people from all walks of life! From there, events proceeded rapidly. First the creation of the website, then the blog called “Ramblings”, where I share some of my thoughts and experiences about life in the hopes of INSPIRING my fellow man, and finally, “Gusto”, the Facebook page used initially as a “launch pad” for “Ramblings.”
Today, in less than a year, there have been over 5,000 page views of “Ramblings” from people representing 45 countries around the world. The Facebook page YOU are all a part of, now has nearly 400 members in that same time period. But it doesn’t stop there, not by a long shot. Here’s what I mean.
A little less than two years ago, July 2009 to be exact according to my daily journal, LONG before I moved to California, and well before the mere thought of this page and the associated website came to light, I awoke early one morning with this waking dream and vision. It was about 2 or 3 a.m. SOMETHING was stirring deep inside the far recesses of my soul. I walked slowly into the bathroom of my house in a little town called Elkhart, Kansas and turned the light on. That’s when it “happened.” Without even being conscious about it, I suddenly had this surge and burst of energy. What I’m about to tell you next may sound strange but believe me; I’m entirely about integrity and character. None of this is made up. Like so many other things about my life over the years, but particularly so the past three, people and events have just sort of “happened.” I was speaking in front of a large group of people, gesturing and talking animatedly about life and what it means (metaphorically speaking) to fall, nearly die, get back up, and slowly but surely move forward to a “new way of living” and a new LIFE. It was entirely about sharing KNOWLEDGE and AWARENESS. Everything I am can be summed up with that statement. When I was done, I felt this incredible peace and calm surround me like a warm blanket. I went back to bed and I’m certain I was smiling as I drifted into a much-needed and restful sleep for hours! Call it whatever you want, my imagination or whatever, but I simply KNEW it was divine intervention at play!
Fast forward to now. It’s March 2011. The dream and vision continues to expand and grow, and although it may not be exactly as I envisioned nearly 2 years ago with speaking, it DOES involve writing. After all, that IS my passion and what I do best. Moreover, I feel it is being used in a divine way to reach out, INSPIRE, and HELP other “awakening” souls with one’s knowledge and experience. Finally, and most importantly, it involves YOU. I’ve had many sayings I’m fond of sharing over the years and this is one I’ve heard and repeated often; “BE the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi.
So this is where I’m asking for your help. Continue to share and suggest this page called “Gusto” on your personal Facebook accounts with your friends, your family, and anyone else you may feel needs or wants another “Source of Inspiration” in a world often seen and felt as complicated and confusing. Finally, I ask that you share with “Gusto” your own personal stories or testimonies to add to the “Ramblings” blog. The ultimate goal is to turn that into a full-fledged book, or collection of our short stories, for mass publication. Working together, we CAN make a difference for our fellow brothers and sisters. By doing so with honor, respect, dignity, sincerity, and love in our hearts, minds, and souls, I am CONVINCED is the best way to achieve REAL change in this world. Change that INSPIRES people to share life’s lessons and look beyond their normal everyday existence. To realize that the possibilities are endless for us as a race, when we only open our hearts and minds.
In closing, let me share with you an example of that statement about “possibilities.” One of my favorite movies, a real-life story about a homeless black teenager taken in by a white female and her family, a story that eventually led this young man to stardom in the National Football League, well…you probably know the one, “The Blind Side.” And one of my favorite songs, “Chances”, by the group Five for Fighting, is the soundtrack for that movie. The final lines of that song go like this; “Chances are the fascination…Chances won't escape from me…Chances are only what we make them…And all I need.”
This is OUR chance. Chances lost are life’s torn up pages. Let’s not waste them. Now is OUR time!