Thoughts About Life from This Year’s Commencement Speaker

June 13, 2012

This year’s Commencement speaker was Dr. Thomas Hellie, President of Linfield College.  It was a great speech.  He gave our graduates four main pieces of advice, with good examples and Shakespearian references:

1) Find a mentor and make a plan.

2) Find your passion and adjust your plan.

3) Find meaning in the service of others.

4) Don’t forget the people you love (and who love you).


I couldn’t agree more.  

He added a fifth piece of advice that I wanted to share with you as well.

It came from Dr. Win Dolan, a Linfield College professor who lived to be 100. Four years ago, at the age of 99, Dr. Dolan gave the Linfield commencement address.  At the end of his talk, Dr. Dolan said that the most important thing he had come to realize over his many years was the value of stopping for at least one moment each day and looking for beauty—in nature, in art, anywhere. Too often, he said, we charge through life without seeing how beautiful and precious it is.   

Dr. Hellie invited (and urged) our graduates to choose a time each day to appreciate something beautiful—to savor the taste of food, to smell the aromas of life, to listen to beautiful sounds in nature or music, to look at art—or a bird or a flower or a tree.  He urged them to stop and breathe and enjoy how good it feels to be alive. He said that all of their plans and goals and hopes are very important—but so is beauty, and so is love.

I thought this was a message well worth repeating.

Posted by marks on Wednesday June 13, 2012 at 04:52PM


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