May 15, 2011

Smart Cookies: Reflecting on Graduation Season

Sat., May 14, 2010 -- Back from Nashville, where yesterday I saw one of my smart girl cousins receive her B.S. in Engineering from Vanderbilt. She's headed to Georgia Tech for post-grad.
While in TN, I spent time with a great friend from college, who last week celebrated her daughter's earning the doctor of dentistry degree.
Today, our family will fest another one of our smart cookies, who earned her J.D. from Howard (cum laude).
I'm also thinking proudly of my favorite high school seniors -- including NM, CA, WI, BA, DA, FD, DF, YA, JH, AB, VA, MW, MJ, and, particularly, DR, who had a baby two months ago, was out of school for six weeks, and is still carrying a 4.0 like it's a piece of cake!
But being a smart human being isn't enough to make you good people. These are good people, some of the best, along with my two nephews and a slew of other thoughtful, creative, kind, and diligent young adults in my family and yours.
With a desire to learn, grow, serve, contribute, build, to be like us and not like us, they have watched and listened to us, as we lovingly said "do this-don't do that." They have allowed us to prod and push them, while awkwardly pushing back as they strove for self-identity. Now they set forth to marry their purpose with their potential, as the future Vanderbilt/Georgia Tech engineer said to us Friday.
I think the rest of us -- I mean we who are not twenty-something or even thirty-something anymore and haven't been for a while -- can begin to relax a little. They've got us.

May 2, 2011

Dear Stevie Wonder: We Need a Human Kindness Day

May 2, 2011 1:15 a.m. -- Yesterday, I posted a message on Facebook about a random act of kindness done by a woman I encountered downtown. Do any other children of the '70s recall Human Kindness Day, headlined in '75 by Stevie Wonder on the grounds of the Washington Monument? Newspaper accounts report that the day turned violent. I swear, I don't remember that. I have this sensory memory of Human Kindness Day, and I remember it as being all happiness and light. Feeling free. I was a senior in high school. Life didn't get much better. Hmmmm.

As I watch folks celebrate bin Laden's death, I feel a need for a Human Kindness Day. Maybe this is that for some of those celebrating tonight. Could it be? Not judging. I know this moment is cathartic for many. I know it's bringing that horrible morning racing to the front of many people's minds. I think about the horror of the Pentagon. Still, human kindness would serve us well now.