I call it our mission statement: “Dedicated to proving that Shakespeare makes life better.”
I know what I mean by that. But I can’t always articulate it (mostly because I have so many different ways to answer that). Want to play a game? Complete the following sentence:
Shakespeare makes my life better because …
… it makes me feel connected to more people than I would ever know otherwise. Guy takes a picture of my “Mercutio Drew First” t-shirt last week. Made my day. Why? Because I know that he knows enough Shakespeare to get the reference, and knows that his daughter will get the reference, and found it important enough to share with her. Awesome. Something I did just touched two strangers.
…you learn and you teach at the same time. My friends, family and coworkers think of me as the Shakespeare guy, deferring all Shakespeare related topics and questions to me, and assuming I have all the answers. And I enjoy that, because to the extent that I have the answers, I love to talk about it – if people around me learn more about Shakespeare through me? Super. The world’s a better place. But my online friends for the most part know more about Shakespeare than I do, so the roles are reversed. I spend more of my time listening and learning from them. I’m totally ok with it being both. I’m always open to learning what I don’t know, and sharing what I do.
…knowing Shakespeare is like adding salt to food when you cook. It doesn’t make things taste salty, it makes thing taste more like they were supposed to taste in the first place. It intensifies the flavor that was already there. Shakespeare intensifies the way I feel about things, because I know that somebody else has already managed to put those feelings into words, and I can use those words to communicate what I’m feeling with other humans who are also feeling the same thing.