Live from the Hart Office Building:
Sen. Booker on Sen. Bradley: https://t.co/ekKbZSOl9m— Mark Schmitt (@mschmitt9) May 25, 2016
This post reflects a major part of my life from 1990-96, and the values we took from it
On Instagram: "Here I am sitting with NJ 8th grade students from Princeton Academy...:
...At the end of a long day we met in the Hart Building atrium and I asked them all to take a seat with me so we could talk. My 1st time visiting the Senate was in 1992. I was leaving Stanford & a friend helped me arrange a meeting with my Senator, Bill Bradley. To this day, I remain so grateful for that meeting, sitting with Senator Bradley, only for a half hour or so, was so inspiring. I found him to be such a decent, kind and even funny man. He inspired me not by how "important" he seemed but by how real he seemed, how approachable, how he was sincerely interested in me, in listening to me, in engaging me and hearing what I had to say. Even then I realized that this obviously busy man shared with me his valuable time and that for me it made an impact.
I would have never imagined then that one day I would hold the same seat as Bill Bradley, that 21 years later I would be the Senator. I now have Bill Bradley's picture hanging in my office and over these last 24 years he has become a valued mentor and advisor. But perhaps one of his most indelible gifts he gave me was modeling for me how a US Senator should engage the young folks, from early grade school to graduate school, who come on their (often first) visit to Washington. What may seem like a short interaction amidst a busy day actually has the potential to leave an indelible impression or perhaps a lasting point of inspiration. I've come to savor student visits. My staff knows they are the highlights of my week and even when I'm exhausted the students energy and spirt lifts me and charges my spiritual batteries.
I think we all have access to this energy, we don't need to be a Senator, mayor or have some title; every day we interact with others and what a wonderful thing to see them all as powerfully full of potential to make a positive impact on each other, to show kindness, to show sincere interest or to impart a small bit of decency or love amidst a world that can be too lacking of such spirit. I fail to consistently live up to this standard every day and in every moment but folks like Bill Bradley & others challenge me to keep aspiring.