Written By: Robert Cocuzzo

Beyond its natural beauty, the magic of Nantucket is rooted in its people. There’s a magnetism to this island that draws some of the most inspiring individuals. Here at N Magazine, we have the privilege of amplifying the voices of those who live here as well as those who visit here. From Super Bowl champions to super models, astronauts to astronomers, bestselling authors to poet laureates, this year boasted an incredible lineup of interviews. Here are sixteen sound bites from the year that was.

1-sebastian-jungerSEBASTIAN JUNGER, bestselling author, documentarian and journalist
“Society has produced a culture of fame and a culture of greed. And people crush their own humanity in order to achieve one of those two things: money or fame. They’re not breaking any laws, but I think it’s a bad trait. The quality of life, in real human terms, of someone that puts their financial gain over the welfare of other people—I don’t believe in heaven or hell, I’m an atheist—but in some way I think they’re going to hell. And I think they go to hell during their lifetime.”

2-diane-rehmDIANE REHM, host of NPR’s Diane Rehm Show
“Learning to listen. Learning to listen. And learning to listen. It’s the most important thing that a talk show host aught to learn to do. I’ve often said, it aught to be called a listening show rather than a talk show. I think if you don’t know how to listen, you’re not going to be able to take the people out there who are listening to the program through the hour so they come out with a bit of an understanding of what that subject is.”

3-bernie-swainBERNIE SWAIN, founder of the Washington Speaker’s Bureau
“The key to success is not finding a talent for doing something. It’s about passion, which is much more important than talent.”

4-tess-pearsonTESS PEARSON, executive director of Family & Children’s Services of Nantucket
“I feel like we’re on a train going ninety miles per hour into a wall. The problem is growing. And there’s definitely a lack of services for any community to have integrated care. We don’t have a residential house, we don’t have any detox, and we don’t have any step-down [unit]. Everyone is working frantically, but that doesn’t stop the fact that we’re losing people falling through the cracks.”

5-julian-edelmanJULIAN EDELMAN, Super Bowl champion
“Don’t believe the hype that island players can’t make it. Chase your dream. Football is a microcosm of life. What you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. For the little chance that anyone does have, I can tell you right now the people that have made it, they were no slouch. Work has to be put in.”

6-frank-fahrenkopfFRANK FAHRENKOPF, the chairman of the Committee on Presidential Debates
“The polls clearly show that the American people are dissatisfied. They’re dissatisfied with Washington, with government in general, with the president. They’ve lost faith in corporations. They’ve lost faith in banks. The American people are unhappy, and that’s why I think not only Donald Trump did so well in the process, but also Bernie Sanders. There are people looking for something else. It’s a very unusual, unusual time.”

8-christy-turlingtonCHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS, former super model and activist
“I loved Maya Angelou and her quote about how she wanted to be remembered. She said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ I want to be remembered like that.”

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-8-46-45-pm-300x220PETER MORRISON, Nantucket resident and former demographer
“Nantucket’s going to be a different place if you think in terms of the conventional categories — less white, more people of color. But that’s a distinction that’s going to diminish in significance because of the demographic changes themselves. If you come back here in twenty years, the distinctions between people of color and white people are going to feel maybe the same way as distinctions between people of German ancestry and Irish ancestry feel today.”

9-peter-bethunePETER BETHUNE, environmentalist
“This is an extraordinary place and it should be an environmental leader. A lot of the people on Nantucket, they are environmentalists at heart. They live in one of the coolest places in the world, this wonderful little island placed on the edge of Atlantic here with all this wildlife around it. I think people here do care and they might just need a little nudge along the way.”

LUIS CARLOS MONTALVAN, bestselling author and veterans’ advocate
“It’s been frustrating that both public and private sectors haven’t poured the type of energy and resources needed to hurry up on this matter, particularly with the [suicide pandemic] facing American veterans.”

11-regina-jorgensonDR. REGINA JORGENSON, Director of Astronomy at Maria Mitchell Association
“The [dark] sky is actually a very precious natural resource that Nantucket has — one that we need to protect — because it’s not true in lots of places.”

“If the whole world could see Earth from space, I believe we would all behave somewhat differently here on the planet. I think we would be kinder to one another and I believe we would all be humbled. Earth is our only home… that we know of now. We are literally all riding on the same space ship right now; it’s just really big and blue.”

CHARLIE BAKER, Massachusetts Governor
“One of the big problems Washington has is they are in permanent campaign mode. It’s all about the six o’clock news and who wins the next day’s headlines. They really think about this as winning and losing every day. If you think about it that way, it’s going to completely screw up your ability to play the long game and think about what you’re really trying to accomplish.”

14-aj-mleczcoAJ MLECZKO, Olympic gold medalist
“The Olympics is a sporting event that brings the world together, unlike any other. You can have other sporting events, but they don’t capture the world’s imagination like the Olympics.”

15-marlon-jamesMARLON JAMES, bestselling author
“One of the great things about reading is that the more often you read, the more lives you get to have. Which is why I encourage reading not just for learning. The absolutely greatest thing about reading is that every time you read, you have more than one life. You gain lives.”

16-billy-collinsBILLY COLLINS, former Poet Laureate
“The American public has so many misconceptions about poetry, and those are carried over from school, when they were so often forced to read the wrong of kind of poetry, antiquated and too difficult. Poetry has become subject matter that is left behind like trigonometry or something else they don’t need.”

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