5 Minute Interview: John Sherry
Alvin: Who are you, what do you do, and what do you most enjoy about it?
John: My name is John Sherry and I write the real simple living blog Real Simple People. What I enjoy most is how easy it is to create and share a simple view of life with others. It’s such a great feeling to play with all my ideas and then hear from people all round the world offering their view on things in response. This is natural happy talk beyond politics, borders, histories and backgrounds. Its simple sharing with everyday people. Love that!
Alvin: Who has been the most influential figure in your life? How so?
John: Without doubt it was my late Mum who passed away last year. But not for her positive support or inspiring nature. In fact for most of my life we never saw eye to eye. She had a fixed outlook on life and wanted me to accept that without questioning it. I was a more freer spirit wanting to explore, try things and expand my horizons finding and discovering for myself. This stand off resulted in me learning to really own my life and how I see and live it. Not all good things come in great forms.
Alvin: What are your most important personal satisfactions connected with keeping life simple?
John: That’s a cracking question! For me it’s that the little things are the big things. Good friends and those you can talk and share things with plus being free to decide what I want to do, to eat, where to go and what to think. We take for granted what millions worldwide are dying for or dying to have. What use is a Porsche to them? Have gratitude for the simple things that are huge if they weren’t there. I am satisfied if I have enough as should most of us if we are honest.
Alvin: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
John: Mine was when a partner’s young son started calling me ‘Daddy’. I had invested time and a lot of love in him to show him that he mattered and that I was there to stay. That I wanted him to be part of my life, have a relationship with him and be a family. That he felt and saw that in return to say that word put tears in my eyes and lifted my heart. Children can do that with there honest expression of feeling and what’s going on inside them. Things we stop doing so readily as adults.
Alvin: Tell a story, name something that you’ve done or experienced that became your largest step to manhood?
John: This may seem dark but it was a breakthrough for me. On New Year’s Eve 1999 as the millennium dawned I held a knife over my wrist to take my own life. In a few short years my father had died suddenly, my mum had cancer, I was suspected of having cancer twice too, lost my prized job in sport and couldn’t get another, my partner left, money problems built up and the house looked like going soon after. I felt worthless, that life didn’t want me around and I had nothing to offer it either. But in that moment I decided to start again. Use it as a rite of passage to be a man and fight back and start again. I did, I have, and today I know that that bottom was a call to aim for the top. Never give up as your dreams could arrive tomorrow!
Alvin: Do you have any advice for people who aren’t naturally use to keeping life simple?
John: I would ask them to think over this, “Are you living YOUR life?”. So many people are following a life to please parents, or partners, or authority figures or even society. Do the decent 9-5, 2.4 children, nice house and car type of living. But they feel lost, hollow or unfulfilled. So go fulfil yourself and what you want to be and are here for. Simple is to follow your own star and make it shine to inspire others. Everyone matters and everyone makes a difference. Everyone!0