I can teach my students to think critically, question, participate, care, and create a better world. I can share inspiration and truth that will cut through rhetoric and deception. Words have power...in good and bad ways.
As different as I was, there were so many who embraced, encouraged, and cherished that difference. They did so, because they knew how deeply similar and we are by the bonds of our humanity. And that lovely dynamic is the bedrock of our democracy.
I wanted to believe that we were better. That our country was better. I wanted to believe that the factions of this country steeped in hate and fear and xenophobic beliefs, were small, and fringe, and isolated.