Gosh, I didn’t think this would be so hard. I feel like any answer I give is so cliché. And like others, I don’t have a single big inspirational moment or person. But here goes…
Books: I read a lot of books. And none of them are for pleasure. About 1 a year blows my mind and makes me act or think in a different way. “Chasing the Scream” still blows me away. Legalize it ALL!!!
My wife: Sigh, cliché but true. I was just an opinionated blow hard until I started hanging with her and her friends. It became very clear, that to compete with this crowd, being well read and evidence based was necessary, or you were going to look foolish. Now, I look foolish, less often.
My mommy and daddy: Double cliché…. My super tolerant, avoid conflict, love everyone mother. I don’t ascribe to the “avoid conflict” part, but she has created a very empathetic child, whose conflicts are dealing with those who marginalize others. My adventuring, outdoorsy, “suck it up” father. When I broke my arm, he didn’t believe me, and then reluctantly took me to the doctor the next day. On his 60th birthday, he biked 60 miles, ran 6, and swam 600 yards…. Just because. He still downhill skis at 77, despite his Parkinson’s.
Leah: I strive to have her vision. I can problem solve effectively. I just can’t foresee the problem before it occurs. It is quite a skill.
Lisa: Although I think she thinks I am still quite a doofus, she has taken me from naïve empathetic white male to a white male running equity teams and groups.
Phil: Never have I seen one regular teacher change a whole school culture. Truly amazing.
My HS basketball coach: He/We outworked everyone! We won a lot of games.
Ms. Davis: She made us work so hard in her math class. She was tough! And we loved her!