Great questions. I get it. And I wonder how these ideas should impress an introvert like me.
I find it painful to listen to people. I set my own standards, and I strive to live up to them. I work hard. I care about what I do. I don't tolerate interference or distraction or noise. A public educator, I am the 14th generation of my family to occupy this real estate, to derive a purpose from being here, to believe that being here involves being responsible for the people around me, for caring what that looks like at the end of the day.
I believe in the social safety net. I am a patriotic liberal.
But I am an introvert. People and their noise and their demands for attention and all of that exhaust me. Really, all I care about is how my student with ADHD responds to Santiago and how he will link the old fisherman to the epic hero Odysseus to himself. That's my minute-to-minute life. And it's no joke. Because every last one of us matters.
Fourteen generations later, we are not nobody but, very specifically, everybody. What have we done to earn our right to be here? That is the question.