No pundits, analysts or debates. Single voices with an audience of one.
“All stories are partial…we need a multiplicity of stories to tell the whole story of our democratic experiment.” — Keith Gilyard
America is a noisy country. A clamor of many voices demanding to be heard. The loudest, most persistent and, all too often, most outrageous voices are the ones that get our attention.
So I have been talking with individuals across the country, many of whom don’t often get heard. I want to know how they experience some of the pressing issues of the day. The purpose of this site is to share the voices of people I am listening to as they explore aloud their own thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and experiences.
The conversations revolve around specific topics like teaching in the 21st century, our personal relationships with money, and dealing with life changes. I am not a pundit, analyst, or debater. It is not my aim to argue with them. My aim is to hear them so I might briefly view the world through their eyes and then share what I have heard.
I have undertaken this project for two reasons: I was interviewed twice by the great interviewer Studs Terkel and have seen him work. I know what it is like to be listened to with intense curiosity for an extended session. I believe everyone deserves a chance to be heard that way.
Secondly, I have grown weary and cynical of the cacophony of arguments that pose as discussion on television and radio. In Studs’ tradition, my message is simple: I am here to listen. I want to know what you make of your life, of life itself, of what is happening in our world. Like Theodore Zelden, I’m interested in the kind of conversation in which “you start out with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person.”
Ultimately, I believe it’s possible to better know ourselves, both collectively and as individuals, when we allow ourselves to better know one another.
I begin with three topics:
Education — interviews with educators and their allies across the country talking about what it is like to work in schools, today. (Click on Education, above)
Money — interviews with Americans across the financial spectrum talking about their experience with today’s economy. (Click on Money, above)
Change — interviews with people navigating and adjusting to life changes large and small. (Click on Change, above.)