Wisdom, Barbara Bush Style

 image from Barbara Bush's funeral  CNN.com

image from Barbara Bush's funeral CNN.com

I love it when my husband cuts out newspaper articles for me. Yesterday he brought one home and I want to remember a portion of it, so I'm going to archive it here for me and for my posterity.

The article, titled When Barbara Bush Visited Wellesley documented an account of Barbara Bush, speaking at the Wellesley College  commencement in 1990. Just prior to this speech, a petition was created which 150 Wellesley students had signed. It declared them outraged that their commencement speaker would be "someone who had ridden to prominence on her husband's coat tails". This petition made Mrs. Bush the subject of a national controversy. Perhaps you remember this incident. I don't. But, I do find interesting what followed: A coast to coast commentary on feminism and the role of women in modern-day (1990) America. And because of that, Barbara's speech, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed to anyone outside the academic circles of suburban Massachusetts,  was broadcast live on major TV networks (there were 3 at the time!) Everyone was watching to see what the first lady would say and how she would handle the criticism. At the time Barbara was just shy of 65. "She was famous for her white hair and pearls ... No, she wasn't the secretary of state delivering the latest policy on the Middle East. She wasn't a billionaire sharing a story of rising to the top. "Just" a house-wife, those protesting students had intimated. What could she possibly have to say?" 

To read her full address, click HERE. It's totally worth your time and even 28 years later, I think what she did and said still stands as wisdom worth remembering, especially in our 2018 political climate. Here's just a portion ...

For several years, you’ve had impressed upon you the importance to your career of dedication and hard work. That’s true. But as important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer or business leader will be, you are a human being first and those human connections—with spouses, with children, with friends—are the most important investments you will ever make.

Make an effort to learn about and respect difference, to be compassionate with one another, to cherish your own identity and to accept unconditionally the same in others.
— Barbara Bush

She went on to say that she hoped the students would consider making three very important choices, summarized as ...
1. Believe in something larger than yourself.
2. Find the joy in life, “It’s supposed to be fun!”
3. Cherish your human connections. And perhaps you've seen this bit floating around Instagram this week: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent." 

I LOVE it. People matter most! Let's create some intentional "human connection" today! 
Note: You can read the full WSJ article HERE

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