Dear Alumni, students, faculty members and distinguished guests. I am honored to be your speaker for this year’s commencement address. I want to talk about the importance of contemplation in our lives. As we all know, the time we spend in contemplation is some of the most valuable.
I remember a day when I was a young boy, a day I will always treasure. The sun was shining and I decided to go for a walk in the woods. As I walked, I noticed a small insect on the ground in front of me. I stopped to take a closer look. I can still recall how beautiful it was. It was a tiny beetle.
The next thing I remember is that I was sitting on the ground with it in my hand, watching it struggle. It was one of life’s many moments when I was in a position to make a decision. I could have let it go, or I could have killed it. I let it go.
I remember telling myself that I would always remember that day, that it would always be a special day. And I have never forgotten that day.
People never remember a day when they’re in a hurry, a day when they’re stressed. A lot of things happen on such days. But when they look back on their lives, they realize they don’t have many days like that.
I’m never in a hurry these days. It’s been a long time since I’ve been stressed. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve slowed down or because I’ve learned to be more contemplative about my life.
I think it’s both. Contemplation is a day of rest, a day to gather your strength and renew your spirit.
I must admit that when I was younger, I didn’t understand what it was all about. I used to think it was a waste of time. But I’ve come to realize that contemplation is one of the most valuable things in life.
I hope I’ve found some answers for myself. But I’m still searching. I’m still not sure what it means to be alive.
But I’ve learned that the answers often come in unexpected ways.
I saw a sign in a store window the other day. It said, “The answers are inside.”
I don’t know if that’s true, but I did go in and buy a hat.
I wish you all some time to find the answers to your life’s questions. Thank you.