We teachers love it when we hear about our successes. For me, the latest example was a tweet I saw earlier today pointing to a blog post referring to a talk I had given at Tartu University in Estonia back in 2012. Seems I planted a seed there that, over time, grew into something of real value.
At least for those of us in the STEM disciplines, choosing a career of scholarship and teaching means foregoing the far greater financial rewards that are all but guaranteed in the commercial world. But the rewards are more than worth it.
That urge to try to help develop minds, and hence change lives for the better, is what made me want to start this Mathematics Outreach Project after I retired from my full-time role at Stanford.