Monday, May 28, 2018

Lessons from a 30th College Reunion

This past weekend, I attended the 30th reunion of my graduating class from Amherst College. It's the first time I'd been back on campus in almost 30 years. I am still processing this remarkable, beautiful, complicated experience. Here are a few lessons I have drawn from it so far:

  • You are not alone. Whatever your hidden struggles, someone, somewhere, has also struggled that way and survived and can help, and someone, somewhere, is struggling like you.
  • Change for the better can, does, and will happen.
  • You affect the people around you in ways you do not realize.
  • Authentic conversation is rich fertile soil for growth of the soul, growth of the individual, growth of institutions.
  • Self-consciousness gets in the way of so many good things, and causes so much harm. Act in spite of it. 
  • People often grow into their best selves over time.
  • Do not let fear and insecurity keep you from exploring new things, talking to new people, moving beyond your comfort zone and your immediate social group.
  • Listen. Learn. Ask questions. Not just in school but throughout life.
  • There are thousands of interconnecting threads in this world. Look for them. Notice them. Celebrate them. Learn from them. And when you cannot see them, remember they are still there. They are just invisible to you right now.
  • I am still the person I have spent my whole life becoming.

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