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Michael Hanes Limerick, Maine USA (English)

Hi, I’m Mike Hanes. I live in Maine USA in an old farmhouse that I rent from my neighbors. I’m not married but I live with my mother who has been with me for the past year and will continue to be for at least another year. I’m a Mechanical Engineer by schooling and am fortunate enough to have a place to work with great people just 1.5 miles from my house. The work that I do isn’t my passion but the atmosphere is incredible and I love the human interactions, everyone genuinely cares for one another.

I enjoy being active so my free time is usually filled with any activity that takes me outside. Cycling, camping, hiking and cross country skiing in the winter are some of my favorites. I’m also studying Aikido, a martial art that focuses on taking physical confrontation and resolving it with the least effort possible in a unified manner for both partners. It’s really a study of life with the health and defense benefits that come with learning a martial art.

What I’m moved to do at the moment is take steps to open myself up to others in a way that doesn’t feel strained for myself, or those around me. Some of the ways I’m doing that is through volunteering free hours, being honest in my interactions with all things, expressing creativity however it manifests and allowing myself to feel a sense of compassion with all people and things and to examine what’s different or changed when I don’t feel it.

Friends are important and everyone contributes something different to friendships which makes the whole point of having friends wonderful! Some of the things I value though are the ability to listen, understanding both sides of a conversation and being ok with having different viewpoints, a good sense of humor and of course not taking themselves or me too seriously!

Taking all of that and looking forward I’m optimistic. Thomas Jefferson brilliantly wrote in the Declaration of independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Despite economic and ecological uncertainties I feel there’s an awakening to the thread that we’re all connected and that gives me hope, hope that through person to person connections we’ll be able to move our whole selves forward.

2011