“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”-Steve Jobs
Delivered a week ago in the mail was a beautifully crafted invitation which stated "The Faculty and graduating Class of Kent State University announce that Brianne L. Masirovits is a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Communications in Communications Studies at the Commencement Exercises Saturday, August Seventeenth Two Thousand Thirteen at Nine-thirty in the morning. Held at the Memorial Athletic Convocation Center." Holding the official ornately engraved keepsake in my hand, reflecting on the passage of time my eyes welled with tears, proud of my niece's accomplishment.
The Steve Jobs quote featured above are words of wisdom frequently shared. The thoughts expressed emphasize the fact that although we may be considerably loved and cherished by others, the love we're most likely to experience in our lifetime is exclusive and conditional. There is a moment on this unpredictable adventure when all of us must accept full responsibility for our own fulfillment and happiness. There's not a single man, woman or child on this earth who knows you better than you know your self. You have to trust and believe in your own inner voice. Business, government, educational institutions, families even people who love and adore you will manipulate your heart, thoughts and actions for their own selfish motives. At times this control is well intentioned, unconscious, cleverly disguised as tradition, inheritance, a condescending reality check, unsolicited advice or calculating concern. Control is a heavy burden of weight keeping our spirits anchored down and silent. Our time is limited. Your time is limited. Don't be so willing to give up your own power. Have the courage to follow your heart and follow your own intuition. Live the life YOU were born to lead.
Congratulations! Love, kisses and hugs surround Bri and especially her incredibly loving, dedicated parents who have ensured her a proper foundation and quality education to survive a test of being thrown to the hungry wolves. My sister Les has meaningful conversations and actually listens to her adult children. Over the short span of their lives together she has lovingly, painstakingly documented dance recitals, vacations, friendships, band concerts, soccer games, births, deaths and family gatherings in captivating creative memorials and scrapbooks. Her children Bri and Andrew will undoubtedly shed tears, reflect on and treasure these momentous photo storybook gifts forever. My brother-in-law Chuck has provided knowledgeable business foresight, arranged inspiring experiences and instilled hard work and confidence while introducing valuable future connections for Bri. Both Les and Chuck have worked overtime, weekends, extra shifts, lost hours and hours of sleep, given up simple pleasures and comforts and endured considerable hardships because they love their kids. Good parents develop a child's enthusiasm and learning potential. Good parents hold tightly to hope while letting little hands go, giving a child the freedom to explore. Great parents encourage and understand while accepting their children as unique beings separate from themselves. Children instinctively know when they're wanted and loved. It takes an excruciating amount of endless energy, effort, determination and sacrifice to be an effective parent. Positive results are not guaranteed for either parent or child. Bri has worked extremely hard to earn her diploma while overcoming personal, financial setbacks and challenging course work to focus and obtain her goal. After years of passionate pursuit she is on her way to realizing her dreams. She is an amazingly intelligent talented young woman with a wonderful future and exciting career prospects ahead.
Looking for even more inspiration? Keep in mind, there are a number of Communications majors we may already know and love.
Stephen Colbert- one of my all time favorite Communications majors comes from Comedy Central’s political satire, The Colbert Report. His communication degree was earned from Northwestern University School of Communication.
Alright, alright. Matthew McConaughey may have made a name for himself playing likeable hunky leading men in romantic comedies but he also earned his communication degree from the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. JK living, man.
Gary Larson, the clever cartoonist who created The Far Side, has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University.
David Letterman, the comic host of television’s Late Show with David Letterman is also a producer. His communication degree came from Ball State University, where he has established a scholarship for "average" students because he claims to have been one in school.
David Boreanaz became famous playing the role of Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the show’s spinoff, Angel. Currently, he is cast as an FBI agent on Bones. He is also a producer and director. Boreanaz got his communication degree from Ithaca College.
Brandi Chastain, professional soccer player with the California Storm and former midfielder for the U.S. women’s national soccer team earned her communication degree from Santa Clara University.
The late Emmy award winning, James Gandolfini, who brilliantly portrayed Mafia don Tony Soprano received his BA in communications from Rutgers University.
And of course one of the most successful Communications majors of all time is Oprah Winfrey who received a degree in speech communication and theater from Tennessee State University. She received a full scholarship and graduated with honors.
With or without college degrees or economic obstacles, each and every one of us has the power to use our own creativity to pursue and accomplish our goals. Let no one convince you "you can't." or "you won't". Around the globe there's a significant advantage in having responsible parents provide, guide and sacrifice for their own child's future. Supporting a child to adulthood and beyond is a path you choose when you commit to having children. Being a parent is a life altering choice which must be carefully contemplated. Parents must surrender their own independence, time, income and a part of their very soul so children have a measurable head start and adequate survival skills for a world that doesn't care. That's called LOVE. And parents who willingly give love, provide shelter, nourishment, discipline, education, financial assistance and guidance for their children are doing it right. There are plenty of people among us who didn't have good parents, had only one parent or no parents at all. Despite neglect or abuse many people have managed to forgive, overcome the past, learn from mistakes, take inspiration from role models and gain powerful insights examining their own painful histories. Some people even go on to produce loving, caring successful little human beings. Congratulations. Humanity reaps the harvest of responsible parenting and we should express our gratitude. Exceptional parenting may produce the next Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Stephen Colbert, Steve Jobs or Bri Masirovits. Thank you. Your conscious choice to deeply respect, love and nurture your own children has made the planet a better place for us all. Now it's time for your children to be who they truly are, discover their own strengths, build upon their own abilities and live the life they have always imagined.
With all my heart I love you, Bri. I love who you are now and I love the woman you will become.