The only sign I have learned to watch out for is his car. If it is parked out in front of the building, nine times out of ten he is home. With personal and professional schedules conflicting, rarely do I ever see this man that I have grown to admire. In looking back at our rare conversations that often turned into motivational speeches and therapy sessions, I realized that I knew next to nothing about my roommate. The only fact that I knew about Tyler Harris was that he was dedicated to helping others. However, it was criminal when his generosity was reciprocated.
Rhey: Describe your daily life in 3 emojis.
Rhey: How many initiatives and activities (both professional and personal) were you involved in within the past month?
Tyler: It’s funny that I can’t really think of all of them if I don’t write them down. There is… employment coach, music teacher for a band, private music teacher, board of directors for referees, referee, CAMH, golf player…oh and motivational speaker, bagpipe band, spin classes… 78th Fraser Highlanders Pope Band, Tartan Terrors, solo bagpiper and vocalist for a group… yup. I think that’s it.
Rhey: Using a song, describe the feeling you get from helping others?
Tyler: You know, the first song that came to my mind was “Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp… that or the Peter Panda Dance. You know the one I’m talking about – from the Pacifier! It’s all about going through so much and dealing with a lot of challenges. However, you become stronger after overcoming all that you have gone through.
Rhey: What odd jobs have you had before working where you do now?
Tyler: Lumberjack, Onion Factory Worker and Weed Whacker Specialist – yes that was my title.
Rhey: What dish best fuels you?
Tyler: Butter chicken, hands down.
Rhey: Which actor/actress would best play the person who has inspired you the most in your life?
Tyler: I don’t know if anyone could ever play her, but the person who continues to inspire me the most is my mom. She has that perfect and unique blend of sass, care and loving attitude. There is no one that I can think of right now that would even come close and be able to do justice to the kind of person she is.
Rhey: If you had your own office, what words would you want inscribed on the wall at the front desk?
Tyler: “Dedicated. Respect. Honesty. Inclusive. Caring. Building our Future Together”. I believe that no one is stagnant and everyone has the potential to be successful every day. These words would correlate with my belief that everyone is great at doing different things. There is no hierarchy. We would work together with all our skills and talents to do better as a collective.
Rhey: What is the greatest challenge facing the male adult population?
Tyler: I think that this population is not getting the proper treatment they need. With male stereotypes enforcing the idea of ‘Men do not need Help’, there are fewer supports for males with similar issues to their female counterparts. This is truly a system issue. To address this, the stigmatization revolving around male problems needs to be corrected.
Rhey: What is the common advice people go to you for?
Tyler: There are no common problems people come to me for, it’s really a mix. Everything from coping with loss to wanting tips on career paths. It usually begins with, “I need help…” or “I don’t know what to do”.
Rhey: What goals are you hoping to accomplish by the time you are 30?
1. To inspire more people and make a positive difference in more peoples’ lives.
2. Be recognized as a world class musician
3. Acquire a managerial position.
Rhey: What advice would you give to people who have difficulty with forming lasting relationships and friendships?
Tyler: Let yourself be vulnerable and stop building up walls. If people do not choose to be themselves with others from the beginning, they can get lost and lose their true selves. Be quirky, weird or whomever you want to be. Just be true to you.
Note: 1. Tyler Harris is currently working in Niagara Falls, Ontario. (Canada)
2. Discovered in-person through circumstance.
3. Updated February 28, 2019.