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Archive for June 28th, 2013

I’ve been thinking about today, and what I could say to you.  It suddenly occurred to me that one of the last speeches you will hear in college will be this one.  That scared me half to death.
I mean, what can I tell you?  I never finished high school. I never, sadly, attended college.  As a youngster, I was traveling the length and breadth of the British Isles, singing my head off in the Music Halls — a theater brat, with a freaky four-and-a-half-octave range.
You might assume that after a life in theater and film, I wouldn’t be nervous in a situation like this, but I can assure you that I am or was, before your very warm welcome.
Today is about celebration, but despite that, you might just also be feeling a little nervous — and, perhaps even fearful.  Believe me, feeling nervous is par for the course.
I remember saying once to my husband, Blake, on the eve of my return to Broadway after a 35-year absence, ‘You know, I’m really feeling VERY frightened about this,’ and I began to tear up.
He simply replied, ‘Darling, did you actually expect to feel anything else?’
I remembered — yet again — that fear is a part of life.  The trick is to recognize it and then press on anyway.  In fact, the real trick is to stop focusing on oneself and start focusing on others.
There was a time in my late 20s when I worried all the time what audiences thought.  Will they like me?  Am I up to par?  And it suddenly dawned on to me that everyone in the audience had paid good money to come see a show they really wanted to see, and possibly, they were there after a day of dealing with a lot of stress.  Maybe it was tax time, perhaps someone had a family member who was ill, or had a fight with a loved one — I could think of a hundred scenarios.  I realized that I was in a position to brighten their day, to make a difference, to give them three hours of surcease, of transcendence, and hopefully, joy.
From that moment on, I began to develop a mindset of giving.  I stopped looking inward, I began to grow up and I started looking outward, with an eye toward making a difference wherever and whenever I could.
Today, I invite you to start looking at life the same way.
There are so many opportunities for giving in this world.
Don’t engage in random acts of kindness; engage in planned acts of kindness.
Use your knowledge and your heart to stand up for those who can’t stand.
Speak for those who can’t speak.
 —  Julie Andrews
at the 2013 commencement ceremony for Colorado University
Found at:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130527/brian-urlacher-peter-king-monday-morning-quarterback/#ixzz2UYnJ2Ova
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On This Day In:
2012 Something Of Value
2011 Sleep All Day

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