May 5, 2013

My remarks to IDCE students at their Graduation, May 4, 2013

Thanks to Arun for the beautiful introduction, and to the students for asking me to speak at their graduation.  It is my honor and my privelege to share these remarks with you.
My hada madrina, or my fairy/witch godmother tells me that there only two emotions in the world –love and fear.  But they take thousands of different forms.  There can be no love where there is fear.  Conversely there can be no fear where there is love. She also shared with an expanded version of the Metta or Loving Kindness Prayer.  Here is how it goes

Metta (Loving Kindness Prayer)
May you be safe and protected from all forms of inner and outer harm
May you be safe from all forms of fear
May you love yourself and laugh
May you love yourself and be kind
May you love yourself and be wise
May you love yourself and take delight in your life
May you be peaceful and at ease
May you be well and happy

In light of the various ecological, economic and socio-political crises in the 21st century, the world is full of fear.  Your challenge is to confront it and replace it with love.  Those of you who know me will know that by love, I do not mean sentiment, nostalgia, romance or benevolence towards others. Among the thousand forms of love that I advocate are critical engagement or critique, and responsibility rather than rights, a call to reflection and not just (re)action. 
So as you move on out the world and become a professional more than a student I offer you a modified version of the loving kindness prayer that my hada madrina offered me

May you have the courage to question
May you be true to yourself
May you be true to others
May you giggle at your successes and your failures
May you have allies
May you embrace differences and disagreements
May you learn to give and to take with grace
May you be curious and open to the world

Thank you.