Today, we’re chatting with the delightful Gregory Shaffer.
The last question we asked him? Well, he’s nailed that in spades.
If you didn’t have to worry about your job and lack of time, which side project would you start?
A program that could be called “Smart Talk.” The goal would be simple, to work with youth (let’s say 12 years and older) who want to be able to express themselves better in spoken communication. The goal would be that these youth could do four things at the end of their experience with Smart Talk. Smart Talk would allow them to: 1) Introduce themselves in an interesting and compelling way AND be able to truly listen well as others introduce themselves; 2) Be aware how to best communicate their talents during an interview, but it for a job or someone simply interested in what they do; 3) Give a short (5-8 minute) talk (I don’t want to call it a speech that scares people) that is well organized and is above all engaging, interesting and entertaining to listen to; and 4) Be equipped to share the excitement and confidence that comes from these essential communication abilities with others. (Hey, looks like I might of just come up with a post-retirement game plan for myself.)
Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
While my wonderful wife of 26 years, and my parents are high on the list, the greatest influence in my life was Nanny, my paternal grandmother. She was, and even years after her passing remains, the truest source of inoculation against falling ill to the trying challenges that life offers us. Her gifts to me are endless, but at the top are the ability to see beauty all around me, to tell stories, to love unconditionally (she could do it, I’m still working on it), to seek adventure, to always be learning and delight in that learning, and to strive to live a life that others might find some merit in emulating.
If you could invent anything to solve an existing problem, what would it be?
An acceptance stone. It would imbue the carrier with the ability to accept themselves and others. Judgments of faiths, lifestyles, and personal choices would slip away. For the eyebrow raisers reading this, it would not have us accept injury to another, but it would have us accept there is good in all and must be cultivated. Once touched the benefits would never fade, there would be a limitless supply. To be clear it would not make us all the same, just the opposite it would allow self-expression to flourish. It would solve the problem of hurtful judgment and prejudice and cruelty to ourselves and others.
What time period would you live in if you could have live at any time? Why?
Hummm, let’s pick a date, say the year 2907, 893 years in the future. A couple hundred years from now I’m sure there will be things will be different, but also in many ways life will be the same. 5,000 years in the future, just too strange to even consider. But 893 years from now, what will communication, transportation, nutrition, education, governments look like and how will people behave? I’d enjoy seeing how things pan out. And, I’d like to make a time capsule and carry it deep into the Sierra Nevada mountains and bury it there and then find it again in 2907 and share with my new friends and see what they thing about the past.
What would you most like to be known for?