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Friday, May 20, 2016

When family speaks after they are gone

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am in and out and trying to keep my life in order right now.  Unfortunately, you may not be seeing much of me until the end of the summer.  Family comes first, and right now I need to be present with my extended family.

I am slowly going through boxes of items I now have from my parents’ home.  Really, how many bud vases does one person need?

The best part are looking at the old photographs, reading letters, trying to put yourself into their place and figure out what were they thinking then and there.  Maybe I am a bit odd, but maybe you do that too?

I always knew that my mom was the salutatorian of her graduating class.  Beat out by less than 1 point for various reasons she would periodically bring up when she was especially bitter about something.  There is a picture in her high school year book giving her speech.  Shoulder length hair hanging on the shoulders of her slender frame wearing the too big glasses that were the style in the 1970s.  She looked so very, very young.

In one of these boxes I found my mother’s diploma, and tucked inside was the yellowing, neatly folded, two page typed speech she gave.  I had no idea, but I should have suspected, that she kept this.  Really, she kept everything else!

Let me put this in perspective.  My grandfather was dying of cancer for the last few years my mother was in high school.  She helped her mother care for him, and when they went away she was with family in the area.  A few weeks after she graduated he died and a few weeks after that she left college.  It was a tumultuous time and I occasionally wonder exactly how she got through it all.

So, when I read this speech, I was struck by the words she was able to put on paper.  I wanted to share them with you.


“Man’s flight though life is sustained by the power of his knowledge.” And knowledge is the Basis of all successful men.

The knowledge we have gained in our twelve years of study will be enough for some of us to be successful in the occupations that we have chosen.  But many of us have chosen occupations that require us to go on the higher institutions of learning for the ques of the needed knowledge.

Many men have devoted their whole life to the search for knowledge.  This is a worthwhile endeavor when it contains the element of wisdom.

Wisdom is a major factor in the use of knowledge.  Man people think wisdom and knowledge are the same, but take the case of the computer.  The computer can store thousands of bits of information and can return this information in less than a second.  But the computer is not wise because it can only use its knowledge when programmed by a human.  And it can never interpret or apply the information on its own.  So, knowledge without wisdom, is like trying to read a book without opening its cover.

How do we gain knowledge and wisdom? We can only gain wisdom though everyday experiences.  No one can teach you wisdom, they can only influence you.  Knowledge may be gained from books and people.  But, knowledge is also gained every day of your life, and when you stop learning, you stop living.

So, class of nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Four, go forward, Believe in Yourself, and learn the ways of the world.  And remember, learn all you can, for knowledge is the Basis of success.

1 comment:

  1. A very moving speech and post. Thank you so much for sharing. Will miss your posts this summer!