Saturday, May 3, 2008

The First Saturday in May

May is the month when Spring begins to show itself in earnest. New life blooms across the northern hemisphere in all the colors of the rainbow. For those whose recent journey has been down academic paths, it is a time for finals and graduation. I want to take the time to reflect on a few. who this month are reaching that gateway.

The first, deserves special recognition for taking time out of studying for the last round of finals before she graduates, to spend the past twenty four hours participating in The American Cancer Society Relay for Life Event Home. I have written about this individual before as being an example of dedication and purpose, A Resilient Nation.

To briefly recount her story, she is the daughter of two, who fled the Killing Fields of Cambodia to eventually make their way to the United States. This young woman will be the first of her family to graduate from a university. She did it, by going to school full time, working to support herself and family, all the while making ninety miles round trips in Southern California traffic. She also found the time to be an officer in a campus organization promoting her field of study. But above all, she always finds the time to participate in activities that benefit others. We are lucky as a nation and a community to have such a person in our midst. As you read this, take the time to think of her, and know that she is living the message in the headline on this blog. "Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” Wish her well, as she ventures out to join the next generation of those who will continue to connect our world through commerce and culture.

In a similar vein, there is another who has been noted on these blog pages, The Changing Image of Women. She is a daughter of Vietnam, in the final stages of her last semester before graduating with a degree in History. She is not your usual historian, as her field of concentration is ancient military history. Her story, is one of the thousands of first generation Americans whose parents fled the collapse of their world over a quarter a century ago to risk it all, by starting afresh in a foreign land, whose past history toward people of color was less than stellar. She also, works full time and goes to school nights. I had the pleasure of meeting this person while a graduate teaching aide, and have seen her raise her sights beyond the baccalaureate degree, to a Masters and PhD. Her talent for critical thinking and research will sustain her as she pursues her goal of sharing her passion for history.

And finally, a young man who is the result of the intersection of two diverse paths My Persian Sons, who met and created a remarkable person who never ceases to surprise those who know him with his focus, and innate talent to understand the world. This young man is poised to graduate next month from high school, and like a lot of young people he set his sights on college, where he wants to study political science. Without parental guidance, he began to search out on his own and applied to several universities. This last month, he was accepted at a several upper-tier universities and made his choice to attend a school that will require him to move away from his family. This is a challenge for thousands of parents every year as their children graduate and leave home to begin building their own futures. For me, this young man holds special significance because he is my youngest, and a time for reflection and pride fills my heart.
So this Saturday, as May ushers in hope for those who live by the land and for those who make their livelyhood connecting and holding society together, take the time to pause and be thankful for this amazing time of renewal and hope.

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