March 8, 2022
I always wondered how I would feel when I come to this point. Let me tell you, it’s not sad at all because I do know it was such a privilege to do this for all of these years. And I’ve done what I came to do, my dead level best. And I was thinking about what this really feels like and what it means to really be here.
I don’t have these great words of wisdom, but I refer you to Don Quixote. And most of the time, this great book written by Cervantes, people talk about Don Quixote almost in a pejorative way because he was always tilting at windmills, things that were impossible. Why do you even try? And from that great book and the great play– musical Man of La Mancha, we got the song The Impossible Dream. And that is what I think we need to kind of think about.
People use the impossible dream– looking at you, Mr. Brummett– who have often said, Joyce Elliott just tilts at windmills. I think, what am I supposed to do if I don’t work at those things that are impossible, that people say that are impossible? We lose our imagination to work hard at the impossible dreams, to reach for the unreachable star. Compromise is okay. But oftentimes, I’ve been accused of saying it’s the lazy way of doing policy. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. But what I mean is we ought to reach for collaboration because that’s where we get the impossible dream is realized.
And so I would ask you not to make fun of Don Quixote. Because to do so, you’re likely making fun of one of your former colleagues who just thought it’s okay to reach for the impossible dream. Because the dream is about the work. And whenever John Brummett or somebody else accuses somebody like me of tilting at windmills, just please remind them that’s where you find the good in us if we have the courage and we have the will to keep tilting until the dream is realized. It’s been an honor serving with you. Keep doing the work.