The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Eden

Last month Stan Mitchell revealed the importance of challenging yourself to become better each day, to embrace life as an incredible competition to win. In my monthly series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, beautiful people of the world share what makes them passionate about life.

Today I’m super excited to have Eden Baylee come down from Toronto, Canada. I love this gal to pieces. She’s a strong woman with a big heart, and she pulls it off with grace and charm. Besides being a terrific writer, Eden tirelessly supports other authors without a second thought. 

Eden wowed us all last year when she departed from the erotica genre and came out with Stranger at Sunset, the first book in a crime fiction trilogy. Whether you follow Eden’s blog, read her books, or hang out with her on social, you will be uplifted and delighted by this Life Enthusiast.

Connect with Eden on Twitter and Facebook.


 

When Britt so kindly invited me to write for her Life Enthusiast Chronicles, I jumped at the chance because I adore Britt and her blog, but I also thought it would be easy to come up with a topic.

After all, many things get me excited about life. At the time, I was taking a trip, so I thought I could write about travel.

I knew summer was coming and I love the heat—another hot topic to muse on, heh.

Then there’s my love for art and books and music and blah blah blah. All this to say, I thought long and hard about what to write, and I got stuck.

I got stuck because so much of life is simply: incredible.

The problem was I had phrased Britt’s question as: What makes me enthusiastic about life? And the list kept going on and on, and the answers devolved to the most mundane of things like my love for mangos.

mangoes

Yeah, mangos are my favorite fruit, and they make me happy, but if I never ate another mango in my life, I’d survive—of course I would.

So…I re-worded the question in my head to narrow down what was truly significant for me. What could I not live without?

And then it hit me.

There are few things in life I can say with certainty, but this next statement is one of them.

“Diversity” makes my life meaningful.

It’s a broad term, and I will speak to it in the context of people. My exposure to different people has taught me a lot about tolerance. Not only does it show me how far I’ve come, it humbles me by showing me how much further I have to go.

In my early twenties, I had the good fortune of traveling alone to Asia and Europe. It gave me perspective that went beyond my little corner of the world in Canada.

Most importantly, it taught me that cultural, racial, age, gender, and language differences could be overcome if there was a willingness to do so.

eden baylee

We are fortunate as human beings to share the same biological make-up. It allows us to identify with each other based on our common values, and yet, we are all different.

This is amazing if you consider the world is closing in on eight billion people. I don’t know about you, but this realization fills me with childlike awe. EIGHT BILLION people, and each of us is unique.

Lately, the news has erupted with stories of gender, race, and religious differences. It has created heated discussions and divisive camps. Self-righteousness has given some a license to trample on others’ views—civility and good manners be damned. I tuned out for my own sanity.

You see, swaying others to my point of view is of no interest to me. I welcome different opinions because it’s a way for me to learn.

Diversity touches every area of my life. It’s not that I seek out differences in others, but I know I welcome them, and they have made my life so much richer.

On a recent trip to New York City, I stayed in Harlem near the Apollo Theater. I saw so many wonderful sights while there, but after those landmarks faded from memory, this scenario about diversity and tolerance stayed with me.

For illustrative purposes only, I have referred to each man by his color/age.

apollo theater

***

Crowded subway car stops at 34th street and the majority of people alight. Just as many people get back on.

A black man (30s) sits on the outside of a two-seater, no one beside him.

A white man (60s) wants to get into the seat next to him, makes a flailing hand gesture as if to say “Scoot, buddy, move in.”

The black man does not budge.

The white man squeezes into the seat and sits down. He looks upset.

Once the train pulls out of the station, the black man turns to the white man and says: “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

White man: “What do you mean?”

Black man: “You could’ve asked me to move, but you didn’t. It wasn’t that hard for you to get in the seat, was it?”

White man: Shrugs, says nothing.

Black man gets up and offers his seat to a woman.

After several seconds, the white man looks up at the black man and says: “I want to offer you an apology. That was very rude of me, and I’m sorry.”

Black man nods: “I accept your apology.”

***

This slice of real life in a city of too many people and too little space made my heart soar. To me, it was an indicator that despite hurt feelings and perceived slights, a willingness to have a civil dialogue goes a long way to bridging our differences.

Thanks so much for inviting me on your blog, Britt. It was an honor to write for your series, eden.

45 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Eden

  1. eden baylee says:

    Britt, thanks so much for having me here. It’s a pleasure to take up space on your sunny blog for the day.
    Hope you’re enjoying your time off for the summer!
    eden
    xox

  2. Letizia says:

    What a beautifully written piece, so poetic. What I love is that blogging so often offers us a chance at civil discourse so Eden’s point really resonates here as well. Wonderful.

    • eden baylee says:

      Letizia, so true! Civil discourse goes a long way. Our willingness to share with others, even if we don’t speak the same language opens the doors. Thanks a lot for your comment.
      eden

  3. Sheila says:

    It’s so true that we’re here to learn and what better way than to open our hearts and minds. That’s the great thing about books and traveling – they open us up to other perspectives. I know what you mean by how hard it is to narrow down what we love about life. There’s so much to appreciate.

  4. Les Petits Pas de Juls says:

    Eden is a gem in your ever-growing flower pot of gems! Diversity makes her enthusiastic about life and it’s as easy as that. She’s right, it is! And people see it, when they just bother to open their eyes!
    Another great Life Enthusiast Chronicle!

  5. danniehill says:

    Eden and Britt at the same place– a dream come true. Every time I see your name, Eden, and read what you have to say, I smile with the joy of knowing you. Your obvious love of life comes through in this post. I share that love. I mean, what would the world be like if we all weren’t different. You are the one person that can pull me out of myself so I can look around and see all the beauty that is here for the offering.

    • eden baylee says:

      Dannie, in author years, I’ve known you forever! Though we’ve never met, I ‘ve followed your writing career and your life and sometimes I feel like we’ve met in another time, you feel so familiar. You’re my international Thai/Texan/ Floridian man!
      As always, thanks for your support and comment here for Britt too. xox
      eden

  6. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    This is something it took a long time for me to learn—that I’m not here to convince others that my POV is the right one. You learned it much earlier than I. I love the story you’ve chosen to tell. We all make mistakes, hurt or are rude to others sometimes. But we must be able to open our hearts and apologize. It is very healing. Thanks for a wonderful post!

    • eden baylee says:

      Jilanne, thanks so much for your wise words. It’s so hard to swallow our pride and admit we’ve made a mistake. I know it wasn’t easy for the man in the subway to do it, but he did. And he did it within earshot of a crowded car. It was a small gesture but a great moment. That simple apology coupled with an acceptance of it crossed the lines of age and racial differences.

      I appreciate your comment on Britt’s super blog, thank you,
      eden

  7. Andrea Stephenson says:

    It’s great to see that you’re enthusiastic about so many things in life Eden, that suggests a real life enthusiast! But this was a really interesting way to look at the question and I love your story illustrating how we could all get along so much better if we treated each other with respect.

    • eden baylee says:

      Hi Andrea, Thank you for your comment. So agree that ‘respect’ is crucial. It’s a lesson I learned as a kid, and oftentimes I don’t see adults apply it when they should. I love reminders of how a little of it can go a long way.

  8. Minuscule Moments says:

    Eden such a wonderful enlightening post. If more people celebrated that we are all different yet come from the same vine, life would be much better. Thanks for sharing the story on the train, it gives me hope for human kind. Diversity with respect for each individual is the way to go.

    • eden baylee says:

      Kath, I really appreciate your kind words here on Britt’s blog.

      If more people celebrated that we are all different yet come from the same vine, life would be much better. << GREAT and so true!

      eden

  9. Roy McCarthy says:

    Nice post Eden. I think the Western world generally has integrated diverse cultures and peoples pretty well. In Britain we’ve come a long way in a relatively short space of time in that respect. There are way more similarities than differences between fellow humans and I think that is slowly being understood. Thanks Britt for introducing Eden – I’m off to check out her new book.

  10. eden baylee says:

    Hi Roy, lovely to meet you. Agree that as humans, we are much more similar than different. I hope knowing this ratchets up the empathy meter when needed.

    Thank you for leaving a comment 🙂
    eden

    • eden baylee says:

      Hi Cricketmuse, thanks so much for your comment here on Britt’s wonderful blog. Great point about ‘unintentional body language.’ Hope you have a wonderful week,
      eden

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