This weekend I was so honored to be witness to my Nephew Liam Moran’s college graduation from Kenyon College. What a beautiful ceremony. The commencement presentation was given by Wynton Marsalis, the Legendary Jazz performer. What I took from the speech was the importance of being present. He said “as you age, time gets shorter and becomes more present. Your experiences are condensed, and things that used to pass unnoticed have your full attention.” I am witness to that fact.
I was witness to so much presence this weekend. Thank you to all who were present for this beautiful celebration. My brother Bill and his wife Ann welcomed me into their weekend celebration. Thank you. I was able to enjoy the celebration with our brother Brion, their daughter Julia and The Winstel family. It was remarkable at how many beautiful people I met that were present to celebrate the graduates. Congratulations to Liam and all his fellow classmates.
What amazed me was the presence of all the graduates that I interacted with. Beyond their remarkable academic accomplishments, they learned what a blessing it is to be present.
At the post-graduation celebration last night, I was fortunate to meet one of Liam and Julia’s dear friends Will Smith. I know you are thinking Wow Will Smith actor. No, this Will Smith is more impressive than the one more public. This Will Smith is a paraplegic that contagiously draped us with his wit and spirit for life. He met Liam and Julia at the aquatic center at Kenyon. Will swims three days a week. His mother or father bring him to the pool. I am so glad I was able to meet Will this weekend. This summer he plans to water ski I ask myself what is holding me back? Could you ask the same question?
Not long ago I blogged on the power of the smile. Pictured below you can see how contagious Will and my niece Julia’s smiles are. Ironically Will’s mother is an oncology nurse in Columbus. Beyond caring for her son, she passionately cares for her patients that fight the same disease I do. It was so awesome to make this connection. Will you are an inspiration to many!
The closing comments were given by Marc Bragin, Jewish Chaplain- Director of Spiritual and Religious Life. He spoke of the Bible verse Isaiah 6:8 “here I am, Lord”. He brought it back to Wynton’s comments. Please ask yourself are you present? The greatest gift you can give someone is being present to them. Are you here?
Thank you to all who were present and made the weekend experience so beautiful.
Congratulations to Liam and all of his fellow 2019 classmates.
Keep being awesome! God Speed!