My buddy Dave has read all that I’ve written over the last year. He and I have been friends for years. Dave is one of my best friends. We’ve caught frogs together, sang in the middle of the night in a tunnel just because we liked the echo, and passed out on the beach in Mexico together.

We’ve been spearfishing in Belize, floated the lazy river, and shared more than a few Starbucks together. He knows all my secrets…and I know his.

As I was becoming the Peace Artist, and I told Dave I could no longer participate in things that weren’t compassionate. He misinterpreted it as, “I don’t want to be friends.” But in time he came to see that our friendship is good, now it is focused…perhaps to say, fun at all times, but in service to others.

Dave watched me metamorphosis. Many who have known me for a while did the same. But it took the writings, the artwork, and the miles for him to see I was really serious about this change—about loving everyone.

This caused Dave to consider the ideas of peace, compassion, and selfless service at all times himself. The last time I was in Phoenix, he asked me how I would suggest to start. “How does one really start to change ones thinking?” I told him, “When you have just enough for yourself, give so that another may have some.” However Dave chose to interpret that was up to him.

Who gives a greater sacrifice for love? The woman who has two quarters and gives away one, or the man who has a million and gives away $100,000?

The economy has been very rough here in Arizona. Dave has been barely able to keep his condo. In order to pay the bills and keep current, sometimes Dave doesn’t eat…literally.

Dave went from over 200 lbs., and now hovers around 165-170 lbs. He doesn’t have much, but what he has he shares freely. Dave took to heart my message of giving despite what others do. Love for those whom we would call our “enemy”.

Formerly, Dave was a schoolteacher, and taught middle school P.E for years. The teachers, parents, and kids loved him, and although the years have passed, Dave still tries to help out his former students with words of encouragement and advice when needed. His former students are now in their 20’s, and recently two came and asked for Dave’s help.

They asked to stay with Dave…for free. Dave has 2 bedrooms. It was what he could do, so he said yes. He allowed them to stay for a month. In that time they stole his bicycle and other items, found his credit card and ran it up $2000, and emptied his bank account.

What did Dave do? He forgave them.

When another young couple showed up on his doorstep two months later asking for a place to stay…he again said yes. After all that he endured, the stress of not having any money, of being robbed, and of having your feelings hurt from giving and being used…Dave chose to love again anyway.

Dave took them in again for a month. One month that they didn’t contribute financially, but rather just stayed holed up in the room he provided, used the only fan he has 24/7, and took long hot showers forcing his electric and water bills higher.

They robbed Dave too. They robbed him of love. They never came out of the room to socialize with him, to talk to him, to be a friend to him…after he was so loving to them.

Very few people have taken to the extreme the love that I’ve been talking about. In the eyes of most what Dave has done seems so foolish. You almost want to have empathy for this poor misguided creature. Some crazy Peace Artist got him thinking about the nature of compassion and selfless love.

Dave decided to apply it.

It impresses me to no end that Dave decided to be love despite what others might do to and for him. It impresses me that Dave went so BIG in his first test, opening his home. It impresses so much that he never got angry, but immediately forgave them. But, what impresses me more is that Dave did it a second time.

It is one thing to “believe” in love, kindness, compassion, and giving till it hurts. It is another to test the concepts. It is completely another to have attempted and succeeded at being the love, and been shit on for it. But, when Dave chose to love again…wow.

That is because that is who Dave is.

That is who we all are…when we choose to be.