“What will make you a meaningful person in life is two things,” she said. “That you become an interesting person by learning as many new things as you can every single day you live, ... and that you use that knowledge in a way in which you’re giving to people.”You can pick apart some of these premises, stated and unstated, but what appeals to me is the importance of being an interesting person.
“It really doesn’t matter what kind of work you do,” she added. “... Do things that interest you and excite you and satisfy whatever skills and intellectual challenges you like puzzling over.... Even number crunchers do great things.”
Usually the stress is on gaining education and then using it to make contributions that will benefit others and make the world a better place. I don't know if Sotomayor really meant to say this, but the words imply that being an "interesting person" is an end in itself. Or is it that others are benefited and the world is a better place if there are "interesting persons" out and about?
Note too that Sotomayor says that the constant pursuit of learning should be driven by "things that interest you and excite you." You need to have interests and then — powered along by interests — become interesting.
That's putting a lot of value on interestingness. I'm quite interested in that, because in blogging, the standard — for me, anyway — is interestingness. What's interesting now? (And now? And now?) Interestingly enough, right now, the interesting thing is interestingness. Isn't that interesting?
ADDED: The opposite of interesting is boring. A less-nice way of making Sotomayor's point is: Don't be boring. And don't be bored. Don't do what bores you, and that should make you not boring. Others are benefited and the world is a better place if you are not boring.