It's been one of the most emotional weeks of my life, as I described here.
An anchoring moment, the chance to catch my breath in service to others, came at Village Academy, a lovely gem of a independent school. They were nice enough to invite me to deliver this year's commencement address and being there was a chance for me to relax and recenter myself.
This might sound odd to you.
Many people would be made more anxious to have to write and deliver a speech.
For me, especially during an emotional week, is was a welcome moment of flow. Surfers surf — and that looks scary to me, but they are focused and reinvigorated. Speaking is my surfing.
Here's what I said to the graduates.
A disclaimer, first: it borrows heavily from and expands on a commencement address I gave two years ago to Laurel School. I did what I could to improve the presentation. I customized it for this wonderful school. But I couldn't imagine a better topic for the day.
Perhaps it is the right topic for you, too, today?
Here it is...
In Praise of Speed Bumps
(or "A Summer Breath")
Presented to Village Academy
At the Fifteenth Commencement Exercises
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Thank you, Board President Dymerski, Head of School Lasley (Miss Susie), Mr. Fitchko, Miss Hohe, members of the board of trustees, esteemed faculty, proud parents, loving siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
And to the class of 2011, thank you.
You have been mutually supportive in a real community of genuine people, indulging each other with encouragement, using your power for good. You are a model for other classes to follow. And they will.
I don't know how your tradition describes heaven.
Perhaps it is white robes, halos and carpeting made of clouds.
My tradition is vague on the notion. I kind of think that it is a place of learning, where fabulous people encourage each other. Village Academy might be heaven. I hope you're happy.