Proud Parents

I am in Texas right now for our youngest daughter’s college graduation.   She is graduating with a degree in Social Work and soon after her graduation she will journey to the Pacific Northwest to help plant an inner city church.  For a while we thought that she would end up somewhere in Africa working with children and that may still be in her future, but, for now, she has decided to make Starbuckland her home.  Her experience as a barista will serve her well in the the land that coffee built.  At some point she will have to buy some model of the national car of the Northwest, a Subaru equipped with a Thule cargo rack.  But for now I think she is planning to use public transportation.

As your children grow up you play that mind game of ”what they are going to do one day”, but I have decided that the more important question is “who are they going to be one day”?  They will change their minds a lot and do all kinds of different things with their lives, at least 40 of those changes will occur in the first two years of college or in the first five years out of college.  But it is who they are that matters, that they become people of character who decide that life is about investing yourself in others and not just making sure that the golden parachute is waiting at the end of your career.

Or to put it in the words of Nelson Mandela, “There are two kinds of leaders in the species humankind. There is the man or woman of personal ambition, and there is the man or woman who creates a self out of response to people’s needs, the call of conscience against oppression, injustice, and sufferings of any nature within our human condition. To the one, the drive comes narrowly from within; to the other it is a charge of energy which comes in others’ needs and the demands these make on all of us who share humanity. Conscience is a form of solidarity.”

So to my daughter graduating  from college and to all of our children, we are so very proud of you.  We are proud of what you will do with your life yes, but, more importantly, we are  proud of who you are, people of character.  In Mandela’s words, you are men and women who will create a deeper self and a more  just world out of your response to other’s needs.

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