Be The Change

On January 20, 2017, in Spartanology, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
Listen to an audio version of this message.

This morning, I was talking with our amazing student team about the history that was made today. Most are deeply troubled about the state of our nation, although I suspect a couple may quietly be ok with what’s happening. I told them about my own memory of this date 46 years ago.

I was about their age and Richard Nixon had just been elected, to the horror of many of us in my progressive home town of Ann Arbor. While we all know how that story ended (and how long it took us to get there), my point was that it was at on that day that I realized that I had to become the change I wanted to see in my world.

Yup, I smelled my share of tear gas, marched, protested, wrote letters and met with my elected representatives. But there was a deeper change that ultimately forged an iron resolve to take responsibility for causing my own effects in life.

That moment made me the person I am today.

May the events of this past year be a reminder that each of us can be relentless, positive change agents. It’s within our power to alleviate the suffering of others. And we CAN change history, if we are willing to commit to doing the hard, often painful, necessary work to make it so.. and to convince others to follow in our footsteps.

Looking around that room at the smart young people I’ve come to know and admire, I have great hope for our future. I also have high expectations that we’ll all do our share of the heavy lifting to make good things happen and work to inspire those who cross our path to join us in the journey.

Change won’t happen any other way.


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