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“…believe that the sort of
life you wish to live is,
at this very moment,
just waiting for you
to summon it up.
And when you wish for it,
you begin moving toward it,
and it, in turn,
begins moving toward you.”
-Suzan-Lori Parks (Playwright)commencement address at Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, Massachusetts, May 27, 2001
(Click here for the entire speech)
During this past weekend, I attended a graduation in our community. One student of the graduating class gave a short, but truthful speech regarding the need to hold applause and celebration because they’ve only just crossed the threshold to begin their journey toward what they have yet to accomplish, thus the term commencement.
I found great enlightenment in her words, and while I’m well aware that students have only been given the skills that they must now apply to attain their dreams, a simple three letter word – yet – summed it up quite nicely. This reminder could be observed by anyone of any age.
*You haven’t reached your dreams . . . yet.
*You haven’t found your purpose . . . yet.
*You haven’t found contentment . . . yet.
With just one word, the implication is that we still have time if we choose to continue to strive for our goal. The quote I chose for this week’s inspiration ties in nicely I feel with the concept of the word “yet”. A dream doesn’t arrive at our doorstep; we aren’t presented dreams simply because we have dreamt them. We have to work, and work hard, very hard, for what we want to achieve. We have to persevere through many moments where it seems we have reached a obstacle that is too formidable to conquer. We have to gather up all of our pride after it has been ripped from us at times and continue to press forward. It is not too late. We simply haven’t reached our goal . . . yet.
Three women come to my mind immediately that didn’t achieve great success immediately, but as a result of trying new things, never being deterred and following their passions, found great success and have three of the most recognized names today in the world of literature and cooking – Jane Austen, Nelle Harper Lee and Julia Child.
Jane Austen, after her first unsuccessful attempt to be published at the age of 22, finally published her first book, Sense and Sensibility at the age of 36. Nelle Harper Lee, the famous author of To Kill A Mockingbird, went to New York to become a writer against her father’s wishes and spent ten years writing and rewriting what is now an American classic, publishing it at the age of 34. And the beloved Julia Child didn’t even enter cooking school until she was 36, and the cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn’t published until 1966 when Julia was 54.
So . . . go . . . don’t delay . . . because those dreams of yours will be achieved . . . but first you must put in the effort and have the undying passion to achieve them.
-Michael Uslan (Movie Producer)commencement address at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, May 06, 2006
Click here for the entire speech