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Roadside Wisdom: John Brown

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? To love and not be loved in return.

Where would you like to live? I love living in the Triangle! If I didn’t live here, I would live in a suburb of New York City.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? To find purpose, commit to it, and take the steps to fulfill it.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent? The simple pleasures of life.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Atticus Finch and Batman.

Who are your favorite characters in history? Socrates, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life? Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ella Fitzgerald.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction? Wonder Woman, Bridget Jones.

Your favorite painter? My 3-year old son, Jonathan.

Your favorite musician? Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ray Brown.

The quality you most admire in a man? Integrity.

The quality you most admire in a woman? Integrity.

Your favorite virtue? Honesty.

Your favorite occupation? Any one that might involve reaching and moving someone else. Also, anything involving education. Showing light to others is among the most valuable of gifts and responsibilities.

Who would you have liked to be? The person God intends me to be.

Your most marked characteristic? Passion for what I do.

The quality you most like in a man/woman? Hardworking, honest, compassionate and the awareness of responding rather than reacting. 

What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty.

What is your principle defect? My sometimes utter disregard of moderation.

What is your dream of happiness? To know that I have lived my life in pursuit of fulfilling my purpose.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? To know life without love or to live life with a closed mind.

What would you like to be? Someone who never spent one moment as someone he is not.

In what country would you like to live? If not where I live now, I would live in Switzerland, Japan or Italy.

What is your favorite color? Blue.

What is your favorite flower? Rose.

What is your favorite bird? Any bird that sings.

Who are your favorite prose writers? Langston Hughes, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway.

Who are your favorite poets? Young children and songwriters.

Who are your favorite composers? Duke Ellington, Brahms, Miles Davis, Shostakovitch.

Who are your heroes in real life? My parents and grandparents.

What are your favorite names? Saying John would be a bit obvious, though it is true. Any name that has meaning, perhaps meaning as made by the person who bears it, I guess.

What is it you most dislike? Cowardly, conniving, backstabbing people.

What historical figures do you most despise? Those who waged war for self fulfillment.

What event in military history do you most admire? I admire people responsible for those events that occurred in attempts to end the suffering of people.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? Being slow to anger.

How would you like to die? Very old, at peace, in my sleep.

What is your present state of mind? Excited about what I can do tomorrow; and the next day; and the day after that...

What is your motto? When you enter this world, you cry and the world rejoices. Live your life so that when you leave this world, it cries and you rejoice.


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