In the central highlands in Africa where I work, when people meet each other walking, nearly nobody rides, and people meet each other walking on the trails, and one person says hello, how are you, good morning, the answer is not I’m fine, how are you. The answer translated into English is this: I see you. Think of that. I see you. How many people do all of us pass every day that we never see? You know, we all haul out of here, somebody’s going to come in here and fold up 20-something thousand chairs. And clean off whatever mess we leave here. And get ready for tomorrow and then after tomorrow, someone will have to fix that. Many of those people feel that no one ever sees them. I would never have seen the people in Aceh in Indonesia if a terrible misfortune had not struck. And so, I leave you with that thought. Be true to the tradition of the great people who have come here. Spend as much of your time and your heart and your spirit as you possibly can thinking about the 99.9 percent [that all humans are biologically indistinguishable from one another]. See everyone and realize that everyone needs new beginnings. Enjoy your good fortune. Enjoy your differences, but realize that our common humanity matters much, much more.
Friday, June 08, 2007
I See You
Some words from former President Clinton's commencement address: