Question: What is a question we should be asking ourselves?
Anna Deavere Smith: Well I think the question, “What can I do?” is a very good question. To have the courage to go someplace where there’s a problem. Even if you feel that you couldn’t possibly have very much to offer, but that you have on the other hand a feeling that you would like to offer something. And to have the courage to go to that place or that person and say, “What can I do? How can I help?” And “What can I do?” doesn’t just mean “How can I help?” It can also mean “Is there something for me to do here? How can I be a part of what you are? How can I be a part of what you’re doing?”
And so I’ve always felt that “What can I do?” is one of the most elegant questions of all, which is just slightly different than “How can I help?” and more complicated, too.
Recorded on: August 22, 2007