Meet the Author: Guest Interview with Johnmichael Chiriyan

Our guest this week brought us a valuable lesson in perspective. Now, it's time to meet the mind behind the sweet advice with MSL Interview Captain, Brittany MacLeod.


The ice cream experience you described was inspiring and sounded so delicious! Tell us, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

          Hmm. Vanilla, mango, and now lavender are my usual standby’s, but I would say definitely a flavor I haven’t tried yet. When I walked into the ice cream parlor and saw a list of flavors longer than the opening credits to Star Wars, I wanted my choice to be one I had never tried. I was going to make the most of the opportunity.

If you could summarize the meaning of life in one sentence, what would it be?

           Letting love; selflessness and seeking the good of others work uniquely through you while accepting it from others, and sharing and growing the joy of that in this journey.

I’m a big fan of the “pay it forward” movement, for the exact scenario you described in your blog. It’s such a simple form of kindness and makes a huge difference in someone’s day. Can you tell us an example of how you paid it forward?

          There are so many instances where we can pay it forward. The night before I answered this question, I overheard a young girl sobbing in church. She didn’t know I overheard her in the same place, having not seen me when she entered and thinking she was alone. As I overheard bits and pieces of what she was crying and praying for help with, I knew I had to speak to her. I had been in the same situation as her trying to understand how to figure out ones purpose and direction throughout this journey, and I once felt alone and overwhelmed, myself, unsure of what to do. I got up from my corner and approached her, and as I drew near she looked at me, both surprised and embarrassed and said; “well, I guess you heard everything I just said didn’t you”. I told her “It’s okay, I heard some of what you were struggling with and I knew I had to come talk to you because I’ve been there.” She was a freshman in college, and she was unsure about what she wanted to do with so many choices between careers, majors, and other societal forces including family and friends adding to the pressure and uncertainty of her decision making. We ended up talking for about two hours, and it turned out that not only was she feeling so much better by the end of our encounter, but she actually gave me some advice for dealing with some of my current challenges. It’s not just the moments when you have the ability to pay for someone else in need monetarily, but when you see someone in need, if you give them all you can give, if that’s just your time and your heart, that’s priceless.

For more from Johnmichael, you can connect with him on Linkedin and catch his first piece, here.