Friends, perhaps you can help us with something.
One of the great opportunities our family will have on the Busload of Books Tour is talking to people all over the country—getting to know them and picking their brains if we care to.
We purposefully selected schools that represent a wide range of sizes, locations, and demographics—from a 900-student school in Wilmington, Delaware to a 7-student school in Port Heiden, Alaska.
Which means we’ll be spending time in a wide range of communities.
I’m guessing Robbi and I aren’t the only ones discouraged by the prevailing narrative of division and discord. It’s a complicated moment to know what it means to be an American (of the USA variety).
But we have a suspicion (or maybe it’s just hope?) that perhaps we’re not quite as divided as it seems—or at least not quite as hopelessly different as we think we are.
To test the theory, we plan to ask the same three questions to everyone we encounter—from the students in the schools we visit to the people we meet on the street to the friends whose driveways we crash in.
Our hope is to get a glimpse into the heart of the American identity and ethos—in order to discover what (if anything) unites us as a nation. Fingers crossed we’ll find it.
But what questions should we ask? Here’s the start of a list, but we’d like to hear from you. What would you ask if given the chance? How do we get to the heart of the matter?
- What is America?
- What does it mean to be American?
- What one thing do all Americans have in common?
- What’s the most American thing you do?
- What is the best thing about America?
Just getting the ball rolling here. We turn to you for more (and better) ideas.