Fran Thompson, Principal of Jonathan Law High School in Milford, CT, chose to inspire with a message of taking action. He challenged graduating seniors to combat apathy, cynicism and despair, particularly in light of the tragedy at the school earlier this spring, and recognize that each of us can make a difference. Below is an excerpt from his speech which we hope will inspire you and today's graduates to take action.
We all know that this spring Jonathan Law experienced a tragedy on an unimaginable scale. The sense of loss and disbelief coupled with the feeling of violation to our school is still very palpable.
But it has been due to the collective strength of this class, the leaders and tone setters of our school, that from this tragedy we have found some sense to the senselessness. This class posed the question, "What would Maren want us to do? How would she want us to act?"
And from these questions began a campaign of kindness, compassion and a rally cry to pay it forward; to help others just because it’s the right thing to do.
And so while preaching advice is not my thing, here are a few thoughts (adapted from Bradley Whitford), for you to consider...Take action. Every story you've ever connected with, every leader you've ever admired, every puny little thing that you've ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life. Action is the antidote to apathy and cynicism and despair. You will inevitably make mistakes. Learn what you can and move on. At the end of your days, you will be judged by your gallop, not by your stumble.
We challenge you, our followers, as change agents yourselves, to help spread this call to take action. Who do you know that might benefit from Principal Thompson's empowering speech?