When we bow our heads in a moment of silent prayer or introspection, when we shed a tear for fellow humans beings, when we ask what we could do to save lives, how to comfort the grieving, when we give, when we care, when we feel the pain of a tragic loss, then we are affirming our own humanity! And we are re-affirming that we are capable of greater acts of kindness, altruism, and unconditional love.
I believe that there’s something positive to be learned even from a horrible experience. After all, we are equipped with a wonderful mind that has the ability to create, conceptualize, and guide us by reason. We’re standing here in this educational institution because we have a purpose—to pursue our own dreams, to fulfill our potential, to make a difference! Education is indeed the key to a better world, for it provides us with the tools to better understand ourselves and others! Fanaticism and its consequences come from a narrow mind. We are here in a quest to broaden our horizons. And this is good!
I appreciate the concept, “a culture of life”—a phrase often uttered but not quite understood to mean: making a difference when it matters. In other words, enhancing the human condition & the human experience. I believe we have a fundamental connection to each other, despite our differences and personal preferences, because we all have the same basic potential: to understand and to love.
We feel the loss. We grieve for those who cannot be with us today. But, as long as we are alive, we cannot surrender our humanity to those who act inhumanely, or to those who seek to manipulate & exploit our emotions though fear!
Let’s not forget the sorrow and the reasons behind it. But let us not forget that we have an obligation to ourselves and to humanity. So, asking I must do of you today. I ask you to decipher and disseminate the knowledge you acquire here. I ask you to help build a better world that extends far beyond our borders. I ask you to be engaged and involved citizens. I ask you to be the change you want to see!
Like Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”