Gary Hirsch

“Youth hasn’t given up”

Why do you act in this world?

I am an action junkie, so when I go to bed at night unless I have acted on things—on ideas—then I can’t fall asleep. It is like the day wasn’t complete, right? That has really been very consistent since I was a young child. So action on an idea, is fulfillment. I mean that is why I act. That’s it!

The day is ruined or doesn’t count unless the ideas I have had—not just in that day—has been acted upon.


What makes you think that you make a difference in this world?

I don’t know, if we ever know, that we make a difference. I think that it is very presumptuous to think that we would.

Though, right before you interviewed me, I had a woman come up to me to tell me that something that I did touched her in a way that made a deep difference for her. So the only way I know that I make a difference, was that she took the time to ask: “Do you have five minutes so that I can tell you a story about something you did that impacted me?” That is really my only evidence.

My evidence is when people take the time out of their lives to give me feedback and a story about any impact from something that I have done. That’s how I know.


What gives you hope for the future?

The way that my children and other young people talk about their own hope, gives me hope. I don’t hear young people saying “fuck it, we are doomed!” I hear them saying “I can’t wait to do this” and then they list all the things they can’t wait to do and they list all the things that they are currently doing.

That gives me hope because they are not giving up yet and it is their world now. Not mine.


If you were to condense what gives you hope into three words or a very, very short sentence, what would it be?

“Youth hasn’t given up”


Sometimes when I feel confused and searching, then I have a sad Sunday and don’t know what to do, I can’t find my energy, I don’t know why it matters, if you could make me do one thing on a Sad Sunday, what would you make me do?

I would ask you to think about a rule that you would enjoy breaking; something that wouldn’t harm anyone or humiliate them. And then go do it!

That is a great answer.

That is what I would tell you to do!


Thank you!