It's important to be surrounded by "the right kind of people." I've heard that, read it, but didn't really get it until i looked up one day recently and realized i am.
I am a sociophobe, a xenophobe, and any other kind of phobe that involves being uncomfortable around people in general. I would love to get over it (and by my own mantra, i can choose to at any time). So what happens? I find myself surrounded by dynamic, powerful people who constantly draw me out of myself.
I love to read, love to write, love language. I am surrounded by highly literate people who write, who appreciate and make use of language in ways that engage and intrigue me. (It's no small delight to me that so many people i know are blogging these days.)
I am deeply concerned about my black brothers lives and the way we are so often, in so many ways devalued, even to ourselves. In particular, i worry that HIV is still infecting us out in record numbers, though the mortality of AIDS has somewhat slowed. And again, i am surrounded by intelligent, committed people who have the tools to make a difference in this fight and who are willing to help me learn and grow in my efforts.
All in all, i am surrounded by the right people, right now. I am surrounded by the people who encourage me, uplift me, give me light and love and a whole lot of resources to draw on.
SO ... to everyone in my life right now, vested or indifferent, know that you are having an impact on me.