Editor’s note: This month, we bring you brief reminders from pros around the world about what or who helped them forward in their careers.

 

I’m grateful for readers, for those who help complete the circle of the conversation we start every time we pick up a pen and tell a story, for those who take the time to write, in an email or letter, tweet or Facebook post, and express not just their appreciation but also their disappointments, their quibbles and concerns. I never take for granted their words, be they praise or indignation. They remind me that this work — this attempt to bring order to chaos, beauty to the messiness of life — is not in vain, that these stories are the connection we share in an effort to make this world a little more articulate and precise and reasonable.

I’m grateful for the people who open up their homes, their lives and hearts to us, who grant us the gift of trust (to strangers, no less) after just a moment’s introduction. They possess, against all odds, the courage, the wisdom, the words to explain their experience of a world that, more times than not, has mistreated, abused, hurt or dismissed them. They show humor in the face of adversity, understanding in the face of tragedy, and if we’re especially lucky, they take us beyond the sound-bite, the glib recitation, the predictable presser and bring us closer to something approaching the truth.

Thomas Curwen ~ reporter, the Los Angeles Times

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