Get to know Grand Rapids (and the world)

The first month: what I learned

The first month was an interesting one. I missed some days, but that wasn’t really a surprise to me. February should be better in that sense.

Still, I learned some amazing things about amazing people. Even more, I learned how great of a community Grand Rapids is and how helpful some people can be.

Here’s a rundown of what I learned in January.

Day 1: Ben Darcie, beer enthusiast: “Live what makes you happy.” And “Anti-Box Agnosticism.”

Day 2: Jared Yak, GR Public Museum Historian: Immerse yourself in learning, don’t just listen and watch.

Day 3: Jae Won, Cook at Mitten Brewing Co.: “Be content with who you are and where you are, but always push and strive to be better.”

Day 4: TJ Duckett, former NFL player, philanthropist:  “If you’re living life to its fullest, everyday you’re dying. People die daily. You wake up and you have a new life.” Basically don’t go to bed with energy left.

Day 5: Chris Andrus, owner of Mitten Brewing Co., former professional musician: “There’s nothing like looking at space to show you that getting a C+ on your math test doesn’t fucking matter.” And “As much as I love doing what I do for the artistry, it’s nothing without the approval.”

Day 6: Todd Schmidt, my haircutter: There’s a yin and yang in how people think, about the infinite possible thoughts, that’s what makes us all different.

Day 7: John Noreen, best friend: “Cash is comfort.”

Day 8: Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids City Commissioner: “I believe people should do what they love, and love what they do.”

Day 9: Meredith Gremel, public relations for Michigan Blood: “When you give blood, you’re giving it to your neighbor.”

Day 10: Amy Ruis, Art of the Table:  You either work with what you love, or work to do what you love.

Day 11: Harry, homeless man: Everyone has a specific job in life, it’s your choice if you follow it or not. He chooses not to.

Day 12: Mike Hughes, owner of Doorganics: “We all have potential in life to be successful, but you have to be willing to help others attain their success.”

Day 13: Nick Helmholdt, Pint Craft Creator: “My theory is if you find that thing that motivates you, money will figure its way into your life” and “There’s a community for anything and everything, there will be somebody that loves it.”

Day 14: Bryan Esler, webdesigner, owner MittenBrew.com: “If you don’t know why something is funny, it’s probably not funny.”

Day 15: Mike Stevens, owner Founders Brewing Co.: “Nine times out of ten, it isn’t what you do, but it can be how you do it.”

Day 16: George Heartwell, Grand Rapids mayor: “If you take the risk, generally good things happen, but not without loss.”

Day 17 Haris Alibasic, Grand Rapids sustainability director: “We have to think of the long term impact. Whatever we do affects future generations.”

Day 18: Maureen Noe, CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way: We’re all connected, and we need to lift everyone else up to better this world.

Day 19: Angela Todd, Treehuggers: “Everyone is on the journey, but we’re all at different stages. “Everybody can do something, but nobody can do everything.”

Day 20: Dominic Sorenson, Scoville Farms: Try everything, and find a positive about it.

I won’t miss as many days in the future, that I can promise. It was hard to get it rolling, but now I am.

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