Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A legacy for all

I wasn’t feeling well again this weekend so I spent time just laying around watching TV and doing a few chores. I watched some programs on cable TV from Animal Kingdom to a re-broadcast of a commemoration of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday with all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding it. I watched some of it and continued to flip channels. Apparently Britain is gearing up for this year’s celebration. Ironically the Queens birthday is in April but the public celebration is held in June to get the benefit of the weather for the parades and shows. There was also a re-play of an investigation into the accident that caused Princess Diana’s death. I couldn’t bear to watch that again.

On Sunday as I flipped around the stations again, I stopped at the Meet the Press show and they had a tribute to Tim Russer at the one year anniversary of his death. I watched him many a Sunday and came to like him very much. They played some highlights of his shows and his touching graduation addresses. As I watched these shows and many others this weekend, I thought about legacy. These are messages and images that provide guidance, instruction, information and inspiration to everyone. The monarchy and all of its splendor and history is a curiosity, our insatiable need to snoop or learn about celebrity and its dangers and the kindness of one and its far reaching effects. Lasting images, affection appreciation and inspiration -Legacy.

I have a few friends and relatives commemorating birthdays and celebrating graduations in the next few days or weeks so this is a special time for appreciation, reflection and adjustment; you know, planning for the future and changing the things you need for prosperity, good health or just to show growth and maturity; turning over a new leaf. This is also a time of beginnings for graduates moving up the grades, careers or life goals and expectations. It's for and about the future.

This is exciting times and stressful times for graduates. It is also intimidating and scary for those aging up as well. Graduates are at a crossroad; what to do, where to do it or where to go, what makes sense in the scheme of things in terms of goals and reality. I guess both groups are/can be in a similiar boat. Nothing is clear cut, nothing is certain so it’s a matter of following the ‘best option’ or going on faith. These times can be frightening for even the most successful student and the most thoughtful ones. We caregivers and elders and 'rocks' or 'anchors' have to stay strong and offer guidance and reassurances with sound planning and steadfast determination to help them find their way and achieve. For those aging up, I say they too need the same reassurances and solid plans.

Every graduation speech in some way portrays these sentiments but it is hard for the celebrant to focus and retain what is being said because of the awesomeness of the event. For graduates and birthday celebrants alike, inspiration is what is sought to light the way. Give guidance, ideas, trust, faith, belief, the power behind the dream to make it a reality.

I would like to offer Tim’s graduation speech at Catholic University as it speaks to what we all need to be reminded of and it reassures us that we are one people and our strength and our greatest achievement is in helping each other along the way. Congratulations, many happy returns and all the best to everyone. May you all find the peace, joy, grace, love and happiness to move forward and achieve the dreams you hold fervent and dear. May our legacy be an inspiration and a help to others along the way.

Whatever your ideology, reach down and see if there isn’t someone you can’t pull up a rung or two— someone old, someone sick, someone lonely, someone uneducated, someone defenseless. Give them a hand. Give them a chance. Give them a start, give them protection. Give them their dignity. That’s what it means to be a Catholic University graduate, a lawyer in 1997. For the good of all of us, and most important to me, my 11-year-old son, Luke, please build a future we can be proud of. You can do it. --Tim Russert.


meggie said...

Because we have such a different type of education system in our countries, we dont have that whole leap at 'Graduation'. I never did go to University, so I guess I dont really 'get' the American way of education.

Midori みどり said...

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