This week I had the honor and pleasure of returning to my old high-school to deliver a presentation to the senior class. I attended Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. It was surreal stepping back in time and returning the campus that had such an impact on me. I uprooted all of those old memories. Thinking about all the good times with my friends, in addition to, all the stressful moments we shared. Chadwick was the place that challenged me and forced me to stretch, to grow, to think, and laid a foundation for who I am today. It was an honor to be back.
Speaking to the senior class and sharing my story and life lessons from my book,
My Quarter-of-a-Century Life Lessons, was an experience I will always cherish. While speaking, I saw myself in them. I saw all the doubt I once had, the fear, the worry as to what the “Real World’ would bring. Would I be successful? Would I be ok? It brought me tremendous joy to affirm their questions and say, “Yes, you are going to be just fine.” It felt good to be used as a source of encouragement and reassurance for them.
I was also touched by those students who came to speak to me and ask me individual questions. I wasn’t expecting to be embraced to that extent, and they all echoed the same appreciation for my words, for my honesty, for my advice, and for reaffirming their success.
I went into the lecture hall not knowing what the result would be. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be received. I only sincerely hoped that I could provide them with something beneficial that they could take and carry with them.
What ended up happening was even better. I very much wanted to be a blessing for them, but they were the ones who blessed me. Karma is real. You get back what you put out. And the same warmth that I gave to them, they returned 10x that warmth to me. It helped to re-affirm what I am here to do, which is to use my words to teach and uplift others. You never know how your words can affect someone. How a smile, an embrace, or simply listening can help ease the weight of the burden that someone else is quietly hauling. I was reminded of all this that afternoon.
I know what my purpose is…I guess I’ve always known. Thank you Chadwick.