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Meet Gary...

Posted on June 17 2017

"Let me start this message by saying "I am so stoked to be a Brand Ambassador for Simply Believe"

Now the burning question: how does a child of the 60"s who has lived in Santa Monica California for the last 20 years trekking about the nation and the world using what little genetics he was given and a mild gift for gab hosting travel show projects, occasionally getting compensated for his image and spending too much time at the beach, line up so seamlessly with the message of Simply Believe, a social enterprise based in Columbus Ohio? (as you can already see I am a big fan of the run on sentence!)

The answer is, although my path only crossed with Simply Believe recently, I Simply Believe that our shared life philosophy introduced us to each other long ago! You see, my greatest joy in life is connecting with as much of humanity as I can sink my soul into. I believe the most important word in any language is INCLUSION! I think EXCLUSION is the scourge of our society. We go to great lengths to wall off, to divide, to judge, rate and categorize. Simply Believe is UNITY. Simply Believe is telling a story of what you believe in in relation to being a positive force in the world. That alone tells me I have known Simply Believe my entire life.

In my heart I am a story teller. I have been the recipient of listening to some of the greatest story tellers ever: my uncles in West Virginia, kids in Belize, Romanian studies professor at Ohio State, Canadian Mounties, Long Shoremen, short order cooks... Hearing adjectives of the heart and not of the dictionary... Real, full, layered... LIFE! I was told once "you will never be interesting unless you are interested". I am interested in everything and everyone! Every person I have ever met has become a piece of the puzzle that makes me whole. Everyone affects us and we affect everyone! I Simply Believe that! 

After spending 7 years to get a 4 year degree in Communications (I was enjoying communicating so I stayed a few extra years!) at THE Ohio State University I headed west to find, well...warmth. Along the way I never stopped being a student and low and behold I ended up with a PHD in life! I eventually was able to make a living talking to people, hosting a variety of different projects over a multitude of years. I've also done some acting but as I always say to those who know me, I don't consider myself an actor. I consider myself an "Inter-actor". I interact... That is what I do. The culmination of my interacting came when I was cast as a co-host for a travel show for two consecutive summers that put me on a 40 foot RV with a film crew an RV driver and told my job was disembark in each town and interact. I had won the lottery! What I witnessed told me that INCLUSION was always possible and always healing.

As we bandied about the USA, I saw immense diversity. Diversity of race, class, gender, finance, geography, political persuasion, all things that can cause exclusion. However, when there was adversity or tragedy, I witnessed all of those exclusionary properties melt away and reemerge in the form of unconditional compassion and assistance. From a neighborhood rallying around a child with cancer with lemonade stands and bake sales to the entire town of Joplin Missouri coming together after a devastating tornado. What that told me was if we have that heart and compassion in us in times of adversity then we can display it full time. But how? That is where Feel Alive (www.feelalive.us) comes in.

I wanted to continue finding subject matter that truly inspired me, that made me Feel Alive. I researched like crazy to unveil unique stories. If they made me laugh, cry and want to get off my aging backside to join in, I figured that was good subject matter. The result has been life changing for me. The network of Good that I have tapped into positively awe inspiring. We are bombarded with bad but when we seek the good, it becomes contagious. There is an abundance of incredible people, organizations, social enterprises and compassionate innovators in this so-called "cruel world" that tells me Good will win. I wake up everyday and Feel Alive knowing what I have found and knowing there is so much more to find.

From the moment I slipped on my first Simply Believe tshirt I knew I was representing more than a garment. I was representing a movement and that my life experience was going to be able to help tell a story of unity, love, compassion and INCLUSION. What we wear matters... What we wear inside matters more.

I will continue to do my very best to activate the INCLUSIVE we all have inside of us...I will represent Simply Believe to my best ability because knowing and participating their movement makes me Feel Alive..I am you, you are me, we are one..

This is what I Simply Believe."

Gary Hurt

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