I believe that acting/not acting from fear is a fundamental waste of my time on this planet--and I'm scared often--and in being brave in my interactions, in my career and in my travels.
I believe in doing: Making messes, cleaning them up, and making things dirty again; in hard work, but that hard work can look a thousand different ways.
I believe in being kind to every person, every time, that compassion and empathy are basic human rights. Just as there are those children who make you love teaching, and those children who help you become a better teacher, every interaction we have is useful. I want to talk to strangers. I believe in listening until I figure out which ways each person is good, and cultivating that, that the way that we will fix it all is probably by trying to understand one more person.
I believe in friend muscle; we are an amalgam of ourselves and the other people who are part of our story. I can make lots of kinds of conversation, but good conversation sounds and feels like scattering cue balls look. Touch is a primary form of communication and words are only half of the way that we connect.
I believe that there is great, humble honor in parenting.
I believe in helping children solve their own problems, throwing questions back at them to see what they come up with. I believe at its best, learning an instrument well develops humanness--sensitivity, an ability to self-evaluate, at once a humility and determination before massive but worthwhile challenges, that playing an instrument gives a raw physical sense of vibration through a child's entire being, a power to speak before he/she may have the words. I don't like to teach children what to think. I like to think with children about how to learn.
I believe in picking dogs up off of the street, and I can't understand why some people think that's crazy. I think it's crazy not to.
I believe in practicing approaching others without presumption. Your story is valid, too. I believe in peaceful self-interrogation.
I believe in balance in my life, but I'm conscious of how difficult it is to maintain it. In yoga, the balance poses are my most difficult. My simplest poses are those involving flexibility. This may be a metaphor.
And just because I believe all of these things doesn't mean I always succeed in living them. And that push and pull is where the good stuff lives.