Several years ago I offered the invocation for commencement exercises at a large state university. I remember one unprogrammed event above everything else. At a strategic point, the president of the university invited the graduating students to applaud their parents and spouses, in appreciation for helping them reach this wonderful day. It was a moving moment.
president might also have invited the students to applaud their professors and
librarians, the authors of their textbooks and of journal articles, the people
who preceded them in research, and the citizens whose taxes had paid most of
the cost of their education. It would be
a long list -- and a gloomy one for any egotist who might have thought he or
she was self-made. Above all, the
president could have invited the students to bow in gratitude to God, the
Source of life, breath, health, and talent -- including the vast mines of
talent that most of us never begin adequately to explore.
J. Ellsworth Kalas in If Experience Is Such a Good Teacher Why Do I Keep
Repeating the Course?