Commencement on Saturday afternoon was long and hot, as usual, under the medieval robes in Murphy Center. Our speaker Kary Antholis, a filmmaker & HBO exec, gave the grads a short and worthy sendoff.
Explaining that his Oscar-winning documentary on Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein, “One Survivor Remembers,” had its impetus in his own mother’s family’s horror in Greece at the hands of the Nazis, Antholis recalled Mrs. Klein’s beautiful, gracious words that night and their impact since. (You can see Mrs. Klein’s speech here.)
“You do earn success with hard work and self-reliance, but you also will be served by remaining mindful of the people who’ve helped you along the way,” Antholis said.
“As you go forward and build your lives, enjoy success and endure setbacks, please know that you will always be well-served by honoring the voices, values and love of those who have supported you and made sacrifices for you.”
Over the speaker’s right shoulder, nodding attentively (in response to something cynical my colleague Jack, off-camera, whispered as he looked up briefly from his book), there I am, at about the 3’46” mark.
“We are visitors on this planet. We are here for one hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful, with our lives. if you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true meaning of life.”
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