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FEEL ALIVE MANIFESTO

 

What if...we could take small, subtle, subliminal pieces of the philanthropic puzzle and passionately, energetically and entertainingly assemble them to form a beautiful vibrant picture keenly focused on the solidarity of charity.

 

What if the end result was the casting of a powerful tool that could be used as a chisel of goodness to chip away at the mountain of problems that weigh so heavily on so many.

 

What if the finished product was an awe inspiring, breath taking sculpture that when gazed upon by humanity would symbolize that anything is possible for anyone.

makes us FEEL GOOD, and when we FEEL GOOD we refuse to let our people go hungry, be homeless and fight everyday to barely survive...when we create that Community of Conscious-ness where we freely, with strength, go out and DO GOOD and FEEL GOOD we become active participants gathering resources as one so every single member of the community has an opportunity to thrive...

 

And when we DO GOOD and FEEL GOOD we no longer act in fear...because we are aware...we hope we care, we dream, we dare, because our hearts and our souls FEEL ALIVE!!!!

What if we lived in a world where reward was bestowed on good deed not greed,

A world where the journey was epitomized by "we go' not ego.

 

A world where there were no battle lines or borderlines or gender lines or color lines,

only smile lines that lead to laugh lines that lead to the masses lining up on the side of empathy and equality.

 

That world is possible if we remember one simple thing...ALL WE TRULY HAVE IS EACH OTHER!!!

 

That world is possible if we realize that when we go into our communities and DO GOOD it

ABOUT GARY HURT

Life is a long journey. Growth, maturation, idleness, regression, light, regrowth...and so on and so on.

 

I have been very fortunate in my life. Being born and raised in Columbus, Ohio was an absolute gift – amazing family, the best friends a man could ask for, a melting pot of a public high school (shout out to Eastmoor) that was comprised of virtually every ethnicity, religion, economic class that exists. Diversity was my friend, and equality was my credo. My joy was, and is, learning about everyone and everything. My 7 years at The Ohio State University to achieve a 4 year degree are proof positive that I tried mightily to meet everyone, but might not have tried quite as hard to learn everything. I somehow procured a degree in Communications and made my way to Southern California. I think everyone assumed I wanted to be famous...truth be known I wanted to be warm!!!

 

Fast forward to present day 23 years later (WOW I am old). It has been a wild ride. I came and went from the Los Angeles area for about 5 of those years, then permanently made my way back to the west coast. I have been fortunate enough to travel for work and play...and live about a mile and a half from the beach in an amazing neighborhood in Santa Monica Ca. for past 15 years.

 

The summer of 2011 I booked my dream job. Co-hosting a project sponsored by Rand McNally and USA Today called Best Of The Road. We went in search of the 30 best small towns in America. A 40ft Fleetwood RV, a group of people in that RV that bonded like we had known each other our entire lives, and 6,000 miles of stories. My job was to roll out of that RV and turn strangers into friends in a matter on seconds! Almost criminal that I got compensated for this "job". We did this excursion 2 summers in a row with the same crew and the same unbridled joy telling stories of Americana.

 

You may be saying "what does this have to do with anything, Gary?" Well, I will tell you. The sense of community, oneness, support, equality, laughter, compassion and empathy that I immersed myself in was so powerful that it absorbed into my bone marrow. Funding (go figure) ended this journey after the second summer and all involved have been heartbroken ever since. I have watched, with great angst, the message of this country get hijacked towards division and anger and selfishness. That is so counter-intuitive to who I am and what I experienced growing up. And when I was face to face with Americans on our cross country journey. There was no left or right, no black or white, and no right or wrong. It was just US in the USA.

 

"Feel Alive" represents a regrowth in my mind, my heart, and my soul. I didn't want to sit idly by – I want to flip the message back to positive. We have great needs in this country and I have no delusions that I have all of the answers. However, I can seek out goodness on any and all levels to try to illuminate it through knowledge, humor and heart. As far as I know, we only have one shot at this life and if we butt heads it will be arduous at best, but if we put our heads together to solve problems it can be glorious! As I've searched out like-minded people and organizations, I have been filled with with vibrant energy and vast hope. When I began to actually document these stories, it reaffirmed in me that the resolve and acceptance that makes this country great never left!  So, whatever avenue brings you to "Feel Alive" my sincerest hope is that you leave smiling and motivated to go out and Do Good and Feel Good and Feel Alive!!

 

Peace,

 

Gary Hurt

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