Here's your challenge.
Discover someone's passion, someone's love.
Here are 1,500 people. They all have something. You must get out there and tell their fifteen hundred stories. Oh, don't look at me that way. Don't act like that's a chore. You love it.
But first you have to listen to the people on repeat.
She did eat the Italian Ice, but she was also concerned that it could have been poisoned.
"You were concerned about what?"
"You know. We're watching about nine eleven in class and those people hate us."
"The people selling you the Italian Ice?"
"Well. I don't know. I mean, obviously it wasn't poisoned."
"No. Tell me something. Do you think that makes you racist?"
She squirms, shakes her head, doesn't look at me.
"Listen. I don't know a lot, but I do know that humans can be insane. Everywhere and everyday is a walk of faith that the people you meet are like most people on this earth. They're good people, doing the best they can to survive and have families and I'm telling you that after forty-five years of facing fears and walking in faith I have found that the people I met were that. And I've been to at least eleven countries and twenty-five states. I've seen beautiful people everywhere. You know I always try to give you the latest, greatest update in my head."
She now makes eye contact. She smiles, "I know."
"Did I tell you that I now have two possums?"
"Fred and Mary."
"How do you know they are a boy and a girl?"
"I don't. It doesn't matter. It's just what I call 'em."
Again with the smile.
"Child, people try to tell you who you are but the only thing that matters is what you believe."
She puts a box of books on my desk, pulls one out and hugs it. Then she holds the book up at chest level, and with that smile she asks, "Isn't this the greatest?"
"Do you know what I love? I love that I know someone who thinks it is. It's like Bynum's helmets."
Today I am grateful for fifteen hundred people, for more than that even. But especially for the people I continue to meet or, of course, those that come to this blog with such kind words I can't imagine even facing anyone who said them out loud to me. I am grateful for anonymous.