I don't know if it's a rule for everyone who starts a project or an organization, or just for me, but I'm happier and I do better work when I have heroes. I like my heroes to be strangers. I like them to be people who make stuff. And I like them to challenge me to stretch a little further. The best heroes are the ones who gently help you realize that your worldview is too small and show you how to see a little further, a little wider.
My first such hero was Ray Bradbury. He was the first author I read whose words whacked me over the head and change the way I saw words and books forever after.
The book I read was Dandelion Wine and I was about 13. It's about a kid about the same age who realizes he's alive. That's it. That's all. It's summer. He's in the woods with his dad and his brother. And bam, he changes.
It was the first time I realized that big epic things like "I'm alive" could be best found in tiny, honest moments like berry-picking. It was also the moment that I decided thinking about life and big things was totally okay for a 13-year old. TV didn't tell me that. Magazines didn't tell me that. The news didn't tell me that. Bradbury did.