I spent this morning sitting on the Brookings Quadrangle as a few thousand fine and powerful young adults graduated from Washington University in St. Louis (fondly know as Wash U). There are so many things that I could write about – the pomp and circumstance of the event, the cost of a college education, or the amazing learning experience that Julianne had in her time at Wash U. Instead I want to pass along a few words from the commencement speaker (Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark NJ) who outlined, in his talk, so many parallel themes to those of THPL that I thought I would recap a few to validate that we are indeed on the right track and that THPL life is indeed worth pursuing, even when the going gets tough.
Theme 1 - the overall theme of Cory Booker’s presentation was that nothing is impossible. He cited example after example of how the boy from the ghetto rose to go to Stanford, to be the mayor of Newark and how his new platform gives him a view into how to make change happen in a world that needs people to take charge and to use our power to serve others and make the world a better place to be.
Theme 2 –He told us that days can be long but years go by quickly. To get to a life of high performance you need to focus on the details. There is no way to do it without being at a level of detail that drives better performance – when you are ready to get to the next level you it will require a level of intimate knowledge and diligence and this kind of hard work can slow the day down. When you do it might feel hard to continue but when you connect many of these days together, time starts to go by quickly as progress accelerates and life does indeed seem to go by quickly
Theme 3 – The biggest difference we make in our lives comes not through our own performance but rather in how we teach others and how we focus on how THEY feel and on THEIR performance. With this kind of power and the results that come from caring, mentoring and setting standards of performance amazing things happen.
And so this morning at graduation, I could only sit and smile, listening to one of our country’s leading politician’s espouse what we have (in the THPL) come to know and love – that it is a community of people who see hope where this is fear, see opportunity where others see failure and are ready to show that indeed anything is possible.
Loving life and my graduate of 2013