It’s striking to see the common element that emerges from interviews with men who have accomplished goals they set for themselves despite coming from very different backgrounds, facing widely different life circumstances, and representing diverse generations.
Jim Tobin is a 78-year-old retired pediatrician from a conservative, privileged, white Republican upstate New York family. Patrick Littlejohn, almost ten years Tobin’s junior, was an African American Catholic child from South Carolina with serious medical problems. Preston Blakely, at 23, is a graduate student who grew up in a prosperous middle-class black family able to give him the privileges that many of his classmates lacked. Doriyan Johnson, who will graduate from high school in August of 2018, describes how his focus has been cultivated and redirected by several mentors. All are driven by a desire to achieve a dream, a goal, of giving something to the world that makes it, even in a small way, a better place.