When you listen to speakers give presentations, and they ask for a show of hands or for you to repeat after them, do you? I know I don’t. I’m jaded. I’m like, “Man, this is hokie.”

Maybe they’ll press, so I’ll offer a sympathy clap or respond with a safe answer, but I don’t put much into it. I’m jaded.

It’s not like I’ve been burned before. It’s not like I’ve lost that much because I’ve followed these little prompts in the past. It’s just that I don’t think they’ll work. I don’t think they’re important. I’m jaded.

Maybe the issue is partly that I don’t want to look stupid, right? Like maybe I don’t want to be the one with my hand in the air. I don’t want to be the one who looks too enthusiastic about something that might fail. I’m jaded.

Speakers are just one example. I don’t try to save paper to save trees, I don’t sign petitions or join protests, and I don’t follow those little practical tips that books suggest trying as you read (well, most of the time I don’t).

You know why it’s such a tragedy to become jaded? It’s because becoming jaded means you’re not willing to try new things, not willing to experiment.