Thursday, May 24, 2007

This I Believe

Tonight I went to this big what-to-do for "This I Believe," an NPR radio program that got its start in the 1950's and has recently been revived and back on the air for several years.

The gist: Essays written by everyday people and famous figures, expressing the thing that matters most in 500 words or less.

For Alvin Ailey Dance Company Creative Director Judith Jamison, it is "to be good we must be true to ourselves." So real. I think I needed to hear that.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker said a few words, and by a few words I mean gave a very rousing (okay, long) speech about those initial months after he first moved into Brick Towers. Booker speaks very much like all politicians do, but there is something very selfless and authentic about him, in the way he cares so much for this community that he has adopted as his own. But unlike most other politicians' schticks, I actually believe Booker. I believed the way his voice shook when he described holding a dying little boy with gunshot wounds in his chest right outside his apartment.

Any politician can live on food stamps for a week and think they really know about the 'people's struggles,' but I don't think too many will live on Martin Luther King Blvd. in a tenement building with no hot water or heat in Newark, NJ. for eight years. I am in awe. A friend from school is going to Swaziland as a PeaceCorps volunteer. I'm so proud to know her. People like this, they really have figured it out. The reason why we're here.

Leaving the auditorium, I decided to take the long way to the train. It's been awhile since I've been in Times Square at night. I must have seen twenty sailors (it's Fleet Week apparently?) on my walk to the C, and every so often people would stop them to say thank you, thanks for doing what you do for all of us.

It was nice.

No comments: