Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, August 18, 2008

"You must be so proud..."

We went to my daughter's graduation on Saturday afternoon. She has graduated a few times before. (B.A., Post Grad., M.A. ) She has been a perpetual student. This time it was a law degree.(Batchelor of Laws) At a Night Shelter Trust meeting on last Thursday night I mentioned that I was attending the graduation on the Saturday afternoon. A man there was effusive... "You must be so proud! Your daughter has a law degree!" and he went on and on about it. Perhaps he was surprised that a dumbo like me could have such gifted offspring? Others also have mentioned how I should be proud. I do admire her, she has studied long and hard for this degree and stuck at it during difficult times. But I am proud of my children, not so much for what they are, but who they are. She has achieved a lot, learned a lot, but she could use it for good or ill. The determinant factor in that is not what she has learned, but who she is in her inner being. The speaker at the graduation called upon the graduands to tackle the big issues of the future, inequality of food in our world, of global warming and such like. But as I listened, I thought that most of the graduands wouldn't hear this and will probably use their knowledge and skills for selfish ends, to pad their own nest. The wider picture problems will be largely forgotten, unless they impact on their comfort. I am proud of my daughter because I know that whatever skills and knowledge she has will be used for deeper and wider purposes. That is who she is. Our knowledge, skills and abilities extend our ability to express who we are. The truly important factor in life is not what we are and have, but who we are. Who we are determines whether other achievements are going to be of true worth. (Photo: Angela on the left, her friend Margaret and her husband David... robed up because he is on staff at the university.)

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