I'd like to introduce another way of living
positively. This previous way is
inward-looking. The goal is to bring positive or
happy things of the world into our lives. A
second manner of positive living is more
outward-focused. The goal is to direct our own
positivity (if I can take the liberty of inventing a
word) on the world. To perhaps even seek out the
negative things in this world and work to make them
lifestyle might not appear so much fun, at
first. We no longer can claim that it is for
"positive" reasons that we don't read the
bad news in the newspaper. To the contrary, we
must open our eyes and ears to what is happening in
all corners of this world that is our global
community. Sure it does no good to numb
ourselves to all the horrors of the world by repeated
contact. But we cannot solve problems without
knowing they are there.
this life, maybe instead of going to a concert, you
will perform for others. Maybe instead of buying
cut flowers, you will plant flowers in a vacant lot
for others to enjoy. Maybe you will teach, heal,
counsel, or write policy that changes the world.
Building a house with Habitat for Humanity may come
before that weekend at the spa. But look at what
you've made at the end of a day! The beautiful
artwork that a schoolteacher hangs on her wall may
come from a yet undiscovered talent. But when it
is given to you in appreciation of your love, there is
no art so beautiful in the world! The hours at
the rape crisis center are not always conducive to
watching sunsets. When you take responsibility
for the world, bubble baths sometimes have to wait.
once again, I ask you to think about why we are here
on earth and what is really important in life.
What is the most positive way you can lead your
life? As I said before, the key to a positive
life is to always, always, and always have a reason to
get up in the morning. I know of no better
reason than that you are needed and that the world
will be a better place for your having lived.
cannot tell you what to do in your life. You
must find your own causes, based on your own
convictions. Each of us must use our own talent
and our own strengths to give what we can. But
each of us must give.
~from a commencement ceremony, 1997