50 years after dropping out of college to become a member of the folk group, The Brothers Four, I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Department of Communications at the University of Washington. I felt the occasion needed to be duly celebrated. Because I was going to be touring with The Brothers Four at the time of the formal UW graduation, I chose to mark the moment in front of family and friends with songs, stories, and special guests.
Thoughts shared toward the end of the event may sum the evening best:
Among the gifts that higher learning may give us is the time and the chance – in a safe and challenging environment – to grapple with essential existential questions: who are we – why are we here – what are we meant to do with our lives –
What did I learn on my return? That shame can be a trailhead to grace – that in the end it IS about faith, hope, and love – love the greatest but faith perhaps the most important – also – like it or not – know it or not – we are not alone – what we do important – but who we are is essential – and, blessed are the defining moments – for they may give us meaning – and can lead to understanding –
The last few sentences of my final paper are these: "This I know: Everyone has a story. Everyone has value. I want and can be someone who tells my story and gives a space and a place and ways for others to share theirs. I say this believing in our collective sharing that we may find the ties that bind. And at the core of what we find may there be love."
This is the first of 10 podcasts that will share the Graduation Celebration