Today, while I was waiting to fill a prescription, a smarmy 17-year-old tried to give me a smooth pick-up line. Oh yeah. I’ve still got it. Only, the line was something like this, “Is this your kid? I can see where he got all his good looks from.” Okay, it wasn’t something like that. It was exactly like that. Do you think I could make that up?
How very sweet and brave of him. It probably wasn’t nice of me to burst out laughing when he said it. Exactly zero percent of my child’s good looks come from me. I should probably pass his compliment on to my son’s birth parents, eh?
Yesterday, I graduated and I spoke at our graduation banquet. And I’m not quite sure how to say this with humility so … I nailed it – that speech. I got a lot of compliments afterwards.
Picture me saying this emphatically and you’ll get the idea:
“It is time to do the ugly, hard, thankless work of changing the world. Not for the pats on the back, not for the extra money, not for the fame. For the love. For the right. For the make a difference. For the what really matters. For the ‘well done, thou good and faithful servant.’
“Three weeks ago, I attended a very different graduation ceremony. It was for Summit High School, a charter school for teens in Juvenile Justice or foster care. Without exception, every one of those 51 graduates overcame obstacles you and I cannot really imagine. Each student graduated without parents, having attended an average of 7 high schools, meaning they had as many new families in that time.
“Think about that for a minute. You and I sat in the same chair for three years and complained when the professors changed. We like to think we’re tough, something special. But who of us could have made it this far if we’d had 7 new families, homes, and schools in those three years?
“I intend to use my degree to help those kids. For whom will you make a difference?”
Also, I got awards at that banquet. One real, legitimate, plaqued one for academic excellence and a silly one my classmates nominated me for; “most likely to be a professor.” I was even nominated for (but didn’t win) “best PowerPoint skills” which made me full-on belly laugh because I cannot tell you how much I hate PowerPoint. And I have been vocal about it in class. So that was dang funny.
This is all to tell you that my head is the size of Texas. Now, before you feel the need to pop my Texas-sized head by calling me a silly flibbertygibbit or something equally true and demoralizing, let me just bask in this for a moment. It’s pretty dang awesome to get 40 sincere (and 1 smarmy and insincere) compliments in two days.