To The Critic/Skeptic/Asshole at the Party

My friends and I have a joke that I can make any conversation be about education. There’s a lot of truth in it.

The world just makes more sense in terms of education. I think about the world in terms of teachers and students. I can’t help it.

My friend Benji says that the act of education is one of the purest acts of love–that there are teachers and students everywhere. I think he’s right.

And that’s why you make me sad. That’s why I avoid large social gatherings. There is always one of you. Usually alone in a corner. Either with or without drink. Brooding. You don’t fit here.

The worst part is that you don’t have to be here. But you think you do. You think that the only way of being is the way your peers are being.

And it depresses me because no one ever loved you enough to tell you that you are allowed to believe in something. You are allowed to have faith in something so big and crazy that no one else can understand it. You are allowed to be head over heels for something or someone. You are allowed to make your dreams into reality.

But no one ever told you.

When I look at you, I see someone who was always told what to do. I see someone whose opinion was never respected. I see someone who desperately wants to be different.

But no one ever gave you permission.

You are the reason I want to teach. You are the reason I want to put the formal label on the act of love I already prize.

Everyone should know that it’s okay to believe in something.

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I Believe

I believe words are powerful. I believe the things we say matter. I believe you can say the same thing two different ways and you can have effectively said two very different things.

I don’t believe the world is getting dumber. I don’t believe in apathy. I don’t believe that my generation has less of an appreciation of fine art than my parents’ generation.

I believe fine art is different for everyone. I believe that’s okay.

I believe in God and love and bagels.

I believe ideas accumulate inside of us and if we don’t get them out (through writing, painting, performing, dancing, laughing) then there is no room for new ones.

I believe Real Living hurts. I believe it aches the way a good workout does. I believe you always need a Gatorade after Real Living.

I believe in plans and forms of fate and connections.

I believe in serendipity.

I believe in this woman named Sarah whom I met sitting at a bar who told me that haircutting was like engineering.