By: Jan Hathorn
The end of another academic year often brings about a great deal of reflection – reviewing what took place, how things went and how to move forward in the future. As I sit at baccalaureate and graduation every year, I try to determine what mattered most to me throughout the year – I try to ask myself, “of all the things that happened this past year, what had the most value and the greatest impact on me?”
As a rule, I answer that question by stating that my relationships matter the most to me. From there, I segue into trying to decide if I’m living my life to the fullest and, like the graduates parading before me, if I’m looking forward to my future. And, before spending time considering this question more closely, I determine that I am surely living life to its fullest.
But upon further review, I think I can do a much better job. I want to make sure I’m putting it all out there, just like I always advised my athletes to do – “don’t hold back”; “go for it” – especially in light of all that I have and all that I have been given. After all, to whom much is given, much is expected, and I don’t want to be found guilty of not having tried hard enough to be all that I can be.
So, today is the commencement of a renewed commitment to living my life to its fullest. And as a way of keeping me motivated and inspired, I read the following poem, which I share with you in hopes of inspiring you to consider all that you have, and that you’ve been given, so that your future and, therefore, your life, has a better shot at being all that it can be.
I Would Rather
I would rather smile too much
Than too little,
Dream of things out of reach
than never dream at all.
Shout so the whole world would hear
than never be heard
and never be known
I would rather live too fully and too deeply
and have regrets
Than never know how to love life.
And when my time is over,
and when my days are done,
I would rather burn my wings
Flying too close to the sun
Than never dare to leave the ground.