Thursday, May 17, 2018

Inspirations from a High School Awards Ceremony

Yesterday was book-ended by awards ceremonies.  We recognized scholarship winners at the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce at their breakfast meeting, and then, in the evening, we went to Cooper City High School to recognize the winners in that high school's awards night.

I finished our part of the awards ceremony last night by saying, "These students give us hope for the future, and we look forward to seeing what they do with their potential."  As I drove home, listening to the 80's music of my own high school days, I thought about how true it is.

We saw applications from students who have all sorts of plans, many of which involve helping others:  working with special needs children, designing better prosthetics, that sort of thing.  I was also impressed by how many of them have already been working for the good of their communities.

I realize that most of them will not transform the nation.  If we're lucky, they'll continue to work to transform their individual communities.  If we're lucky, we'll get to be part of communities that are being transformed.  If we're extra-lucky, the nation and the world will be full of these communities, full of people, working hard to make their communities better in a variety of ways.

In this time of graduations and bright hope that students evoke in us, let us remember that it's not up to youth alone to do this transformative work.  It's a time when many of us may be feeling despair about political events on the national and international stage, but it's urgent that we not let that despair paralyze us.

In every action, we move our various communities more towards good or more towards evil.  That's true even of actions we might think of as mundane, like how we treat our colleagues, how much we donate to charity, what we choose to eat.  I think of my Fitbit that shows me how my little actions are moving me closer to my health goals or further away.  Let's also think of our daily lives in the same way:  are we moving ourselves and our communities closer to good or closer to evil?

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