I will always remember Graduation Day of 1986.
It was the day Dad picked up on my last day of fifth grade, drove me to the State House, and we had tea and cookies (I drank milk) with the Governor. It was the day Michael Dukakis could have done a million things for Massachusetts but he met with an 11-year-old kid.
Dad won the privilege of this conversation in a silent auction. I don’t remember what we talked about. I remember posing for a photograph which hangs today on a wall in my old bedroom. I wore khaki pants, a button-down shirt, and a blue blazer. I smiled.
Two years earlier, I told Mrs. Stockus that I wanted to grow up and be the first Jewish President of the United States. Dad knew this. I was elected to student government in high school. I volunteered with political action committees, public research groups, and state election campaigns. I studied to be a Master in Public Administration. I managed programs in state and local government. I was elected to a city council.
I want to make the world a better place. I will always make time for people in the same spirit that the Governor made time for me.
I want to rest in peace as a former leader who made a difference.
Discover responses to Mary Oliver’s final poetic line from Harvard Business School students.
by Mary Oliver
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean –
the one who has flung herself
out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out
of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and
forth instead of up and down –
who is gazing around with her
enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and
thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open,
and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention,
how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down
in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how
to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?