Today, I continue my weeklong series on lessons learned by attending our high school's graduation last weekend. This weekend, I had the joy of attending the graduation ceremonies for my son's high school. Adam is only a Junior this year, but we were on hand to celebrate with several of his senior friends. Perhaps since my own son wasn't graduating, I did a better job of listening to each of the five individuals who spoke. I found that I took away a lesson from each of their speeches. This week, I will be highlighting one of those lessons each day.
The second student speaker at Saturday's commencement, nationally-ranked forensics competitor Shaun Lichti, set the stage by inviting us to imagine ourselves at the foot of the steps of the Great Library of Alexandria.
"Awesome," I thought to myself, "I love libraries! Let's go!"
Then Shaun shared the catch -- you are an impoverished man with no access to the building that holds the collective sum of all the world's knowledge. You can stand on the steps and contemplate the core of all learning, but your station in life prohibits you from embracing it. Even if you could enter the building, your illiteracy would prevent you from making any sense of the tomes surrounding you.
My, how our world has changed. Shaun rightly reminded me how prolific information is in our world today. We lack former civilizations barriers of access to education.
But so too do we lack that desire, the burning pattion to learn, to grow, and to share our knowledge with others. The prevalance of so much data, so much information, and so much noise around us has dulled the part of us that is desperate to climb those library steps and take it all in.
Shaun Lichti used his speech Saturday to challenge his fellow graduates to a sense of passion: Passion to be an active initiator who gets things done. Passion to decide to care. Passion to make a true difference in this world.
With students like Shaun and his classmates leading the way, I'm ready to climb those Library steps and get moving.