I have to recount my day off yesterday. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
I am totally ripping that off of you Dickens…you’ve used it long enough and rarely has a saying so aptly described a day for me.
In three parts, I will describe my day and I will do so in order of least important first.
PART 1: The Potential Zombie Outbreak:
My wife, daughter and I drove from Northern New Hampshire to Boston to attend our niece’s Commencement Ceremony. I am still not sure what she studied, but there were lots of programs with lots of initials around them, so I assume that she now has some stray initials that were floating around and that she can now link to the back of her name. That’d be great.
My biggest problem was the baZILLION people all crammed into Radcliffe Yahd.
We arrived a little late due to parking and a shuttle bus abandoning us some blocks away. So when my wife saw our extended family, she and kiddo just…leaped right in there! Whereas I, at a bit more ponderous six foot six inch frame, was reluctant to shuffle past and disturb dozens of people!
“Yes, ma’am, the sun WAS shining on you a moment ago. No, I am NOT an eclipse, although with my roundness and sight blocking skills, I get that a lot.”
So I stayed out on the sidewalk while they merged with the crowd…and that’s when I started too think about Zombie Outbreak! So…Many…People! And all it would take is ONE…Patient Alpha in a crowd that size…phoo! It was a crowd control nightmare from an ex-cop’s perspective. But why…oh…why, Harvard? With such smaht people did they take no precautions against an uprising. File this under: things you wouldn’t suspect I ponder when at a happy event,
PART 2: The Commencement Speech: The Sin Of Omission
I highly recommend everyone take a moment to watch this link or read through his text below.
Dean James Ryan’s Commencement Comments (Link to same video as below but has the transcript.)
I won’t kid you, It’s longish and will take some time to read…but I have never listened through a more engaging speech at a graduation.
It was humorous and thought provoking. It admonished and encouraged. It spoke of religious ideas from a standpoint that could only be called INTER-Religious. There is not one point he made about the Sin Of Omission that needs Religion to explain it. And EVERY religion needs to hear and apply his points for their betterment.
I strongly believe that if every human being put some of this speech into practice just a little bit we could change the world. And if every RELIGION took it to heart…we could change the world IRREVERSIBLY!
This…was a great speech!
Part 3: My Stupid Worst Self:
So I immediately left the Hahvahd Yahd and did NOT sally forth to make the world around me a better place for everyone I encounter. No! I set myself on a course to commit not the Sin of Omission but a series of mistakes and failure that can only be described as Complete, Flaming Dumb-Assery! Of truly Biblical proportions.
I get anxious when I travel. I do not shine in a close-cornered urban environment. I got lost going around, and around and around. Then the malicious entity that IS Boston roadway decided it was time for me to leave the city and sent me through a tunnel and past the airport, to eventually sail out to somewhere North Shore before I could even FIND a way to correct my course.
My daughter was in another car and at the restaurant we were all supposed to meet at, but as I got further and further away, my anxiety grew, my worry about being late for reservations increased, and my anger at traffic and texty messages asking where we were exploded.
I blamed my wife for dragging me into the hellhole that is the ‘big city’. I yelled, and raged and said hurtful things to her that I wish I hadn’t.
In short, after an inspiring speech about doing good to others and finding ways to improve the world…I made her afternoon a living hell. Because of my own incompetence, and anxiety, and lack of self-control.
I was a stress-freak and miserable dinner companion when we finally did arrive.
So, to all my nieces, nephews, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law: I am sorry I was so miserable at dinner.
To my Wife: Please forgive me for being such a $#!&-heel yesterday. I went out of my way to ruin the afternoon, and I am sorry. Wish I could do-over, but one chance at a time is all we get. I will try harder to be a better ME!