After the second day of this conference, thinking about why I’ve had such a great experience, and why I find myself so connected to this world that a few days ago I was anything but, the answer is clear.

Ultimately, for me, it matters more who you are, and how you do something, than what you are actually doing. The best example of this that pops into my mind is the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, or, more specially, the famous Fish! Philosophy that came from that place. These are folks who had to wake up at ungodly hours to head down to a cold wet place in a (often) cold wet city to pack and sell fish to people — actually, they weren’t. There are folks who got to do all that, and found a way to love it, be wonderful at it, and connect with other humans while doing it.

Here, every person I talk to is exactly that to me. While our jobs aren’t close to perfect, and we’re working within and against broken systems, we recognized how privileged we are to be doing what we’re doing (yes, I’m we-ing now). But what’s even more apparent, and what’s made my time at this conference so special, is how much these people genuinely care about people.

I like that. A lot.