Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If you could...

If you could do one thing, what would it be and why?

This past May, I had the opportunity to attend my alma mater, Pace University's Undergraduate Ceremony. As an alumnus and a supporter of the university, I had the opportunity to re-live this memorable occasion from a different and refreshing perspective. To realize that I was a part of such a similar graduating ceremony 10 years ago was a reminder of just how quickly time flies and how many things one forgets about their own experiences.

The energy of this May graduation was simply explosive -- the cap, the gown, tassels, gathering of family and friends, all part of memories that one cherishes for life.
I soaked in every speaker, every speech, from this event but the one that stuck with me, was when Chuck Schumer, Senior US Senator from New York, shared a very thoughtful poem ("If" by  Rudyard Kipling) with the graduates. Just like them, it made me ponder my past, my future, my destiny, but most of all the value of life and the work that needs to be done.
Follow your bliss!

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!