Thursday, May 24, 2012


Modesty has never been a strong suit of mine until recently. Throughout the years I have patted myself on the back for accomplishments that now seem comical. Like the time when I received Company Grade Officer of the Year in 2009. I know now that I only received that award because someone nominated me. Or, when I received my Masters degree. Seeing these things through a new lens allows me to realize that I got it because I could afford to.

Recently I was fortunate to complete the St. George Ironman. For those not familiar with the race it's 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, followed by 26.2 miles of running (a marathon). When I returned from Utah, I received a lot of congratulations for which I felt very thankful for. But when I look at what I did, I am able to see that it wasn't much. I didn't place, I didn't even reach my time goal. I merely finished, like the thousands of other participants who go out each year. I had both the time and the means to take on the challenge and so I did it.

I suppose my modesty has come from the fact that I have been able to put everything into perspective a little bit better than I did when I was 18, 22 and 25. For when I compare what I have done to my grandparents and parents, I see very clearly how short I fall in comparison. It is by looking at my parents that I truly know what achievement is.

My parents raised four kids and put all of us through college. They never missed a single sporting event or parent/teacher conference. On every important day of my life (High School, College graduation), they were there. And who did we celebrate? Me. When in fact, I should have celebrated them. For without their love and unconditional support, I wouldn't have accomplished anything.

My father will be giving the commencement address to my High School Alma Mater (his too). This will be his second time speech. The first being during my graduation over 10 years ago. He was asked because throughout his life he has made a real difference in the lives of others. I look up to him now as much as I did when I was a kid. He has lived a life of meaning.

As graduation season begins to wrap up, I reminisce about my own graduations and how special they were. In particular I remember my college graduation and what my father said to me at dinner. As my family members were talking to each other from across the table, my father took the opportunity in the break of his own conversation to subdley lean over to me and say "your grandfather would've been proud." Those were the only words I had to hear. For I know how happy he must have been looking down on us from heaven that day.

Graduation will always be about the people who got me there. Four years from now when I graduate law school, I'll have hundreds of people to thank. I won't be one of them.

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