a few summers ago, on a road trip with stephen bright, human being extraordinaire and president of the southern center for human rights, i became quite taken with his ability to treat each question i asked (questions i imagined he'd likely been asked hundreds of times) as if it was the first time he'd been asked. he responded with such thoughtfulness and enthusiasm--quite a feat, given the emotionally taxing nature of anti-death penalty litigation.
since that time, i've often thought that i, too, want to have as my life's work, that thing i am that passionate about each time i speak of it. perhaps this is a symptom of youthful optimism, a disposition certain to fade with time and disappointment. still, i'm fine holding on to it for as long as i can; it gives me hope. and really, i don't yet imagine the alternative.