Chuck Richter

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Chuck Richter is a lobsterman from Orr’s Island, Maine. He says life on the water is hard, unpredictable, dangerous, and tiring, but there is nothing he would rather do. He appreciates living in a small community where “everybody’s got your back,” and speaks of the challenges when outsiders come in and try to change things they don’t understand.

“I’ve learned through counseling that if something upsets you, you don’t count
from 10 to 1 because 10 to 1 is countdown to liftoff. You count from 1 to 10.”

I haven’t always been the calmest, most peaceful person in the world. There was a time in my life where I was quick to rage. I’ve worked hard to get beyond that. Me and my youngest daughter had it out one time where we were just screaming at each other, and I had to leave. That was my aha moment. It’s either I change this or I’m going to be by myself, without my kids, without my wife. And she’ll probably get the dogs.

I’m not ashamed to say I got help. My life has gotten better since that point. My relationship with my daughters, my wife, and with the people around me has gotten better. There are some people who have left my life since that happened, because I figured out they aren’t what’s best for me as I try to lead a peaceful life. I’ll miss them, but I don’t want to be around people that hate everything because I no longer hate everything.

Sometimes there are things you can’t do for yourself. You need somebody to help you, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m part of this community. The only way in my mind that you can work on peace is to be a good person to the people around you and help when you can. It doesn’t matter what other people believe, as long as they’re going in that same direction, trying to help you help them help somebody else. We’re all in this together.

Chuck Richter full podcast

Discussion Questions

  • When have you witnessed people coming together for a common good? What was the outcome?
  • What “a-ha” moments have you had in your life? How did they change the course of your life?
  • Have you ever broken off an unhealthy relationship? Describe that process and how you handled it.
  • When have you needed someone to help you through something? Have you ever been ashamed to receive help?
  • How does the idea that “we’re all in this together” shape your understanding of peace?

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