Idaho Falls shapes us with courage and character

I’d like to tell you a bit about who I am.

I grew up with you in Idaho Falls. When you look at who I am, look at who influenced me, likely the same people who influenced you.

I beg forgiveness that I am not going to spend the next 400 words giving you a laundry list of reasons to vote for me. Instead, I share thoughts from a recent conversation with my high school French teacher about something that matters even more.

I just want to take a moment to speak to my teachers, to thank you, my teachers, for crafting me into the person that I am today. I would guess that once or twice I frustrated you. But not one of you ever gave up or said I was not worth it. At Hillcrest, I had about eight teachers at a time to figure out. You had what, a hundred students? As a teenager, I believed you woke up every day with the goal to make me miserable. Never did it occur to me what you faced. Rooms full of kids — many who could not have cared less about what you were trying to say. You could have made more money doing anything else, but instead, you showed up. Thank you for putting up with me and us.

You did not teach me French. You tried, and I will give you that. You taught me that there is a world full of people who are different. You taught me that there are many perspectives.

Teachers build the economy; teachers cure diseases; teachers prepare great generals and soldiers alike; teachers change the world because teachers reach the students who have done or will do these things. Students learn about the world around them and the role that each of us plays in it. We learn that we have potential because we start at the beginning and grow beyond those who came before. The most important thing a teacher teaches is how to learn.

As adults, sometimes we can’t step outside of our own perspective. Caught up in the right or the left, the red or the blue, or conservative and liberal. We stop looking at what is the right thing to do and instead focus on not doing what the other side wants to do.

We win when we focus on what is the right thing to do. We lose when we focus on getting our way. It’s that simple.

David Roth is the Democratic candidate for Idaho House District 33, Seat B.