Along with Others
As students we should learn to live with one another right now,
because we're going to have to do it the rest of our lives. By learning
to live and accept that others are and will always be different,
we take a step away from ignorance, and a step towards knowledge.
to New Students at Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts
by Erin Donahue
morning faculty and students. I hope you've all enjoyed your summer
vacation as much as I have.
that school has started again, it is time to think about the importance
of this year.
First of all,
let me congratulate those of your who will receive awards here today.
Your commitment to education is and will play an important role
in your future lives.
let me tell you how I came to think of the importance of this year.
It started with a call from Mr. Blodgett, asking me to do this speech.
While I was secretly honored, unfortunately, it meant I would have
to think before September, specifically about "learning to
get along with each other," the topic that Mr. Blodgett gave
me for this speech.
known to my friends as an infamous procrastinator, I actually started
thinking about this speech before right now! No, actually I spent
a lot of time thinking of why learning to live with one another
is such an important topic to every single on of us, especially
For the Freshmen, this is the first year of your high school career.
Most likely, it will shape the rest of your years here at Lawrence.
For the sophomores, this is your first year being settled in.
For the juniors, this is a critical academic year for college, and
will likely determine how your application process will go.
And the seniors,
we actually have to go through the application process. But furthermore,
this is our last year here at L.A.
is in common for all of us: this year is critical in shaping who
we will be in the future. After all, once you become old, it'll
be hard to change your opinions.
That is why it is so important to learn to get along with one another
right now. I'm not going to tall everyone to hold hands and send
out love vibes, because it wouldn't make a difference, and it would
be silly. But this year, it is important to try to expose yourself
to as many different types of people as you can.
off, because we have an incredible opportunity. We can meet people
from all over the world here at L.A. Not only that, but no matter
who you are, there are people here who think differently from you.
So how does
this apply to you? Because let's face it, each one of us is mostly
concerned with ourselves. Well the reason why getting to learn to
live with one another right now is important, is because you're
going to have to do it the rest of your lives.
decide to be a hermit, all of us will face people who are different
from us, whether it be ethnically, politically, or whether they
just have different ideas than us. We will all have acquaintances,
co-workers and bosses who are different from us; who were raised
differently, who think differently. This will happen whether you
decide to live in Groton, New York, or Peru.
I can't count
the number of times I have been astonished at people's ignorance.
How many times have you felt the same way? Like hearing someone
say a racial slur or even when someone refuses to see understand
your point in a class debate. Or how many times have you rolled
your eyes at your parents because they refuse to believe that life
for you is different than when they were growing up in the 50s an
all, on different levels, examples of ignorance. Ignorance is what
I want us all to fight. By learning to live and accept that others
are and will always be different, we take a step away from ignorance,
and a step towards knowledge.
have to separate yourselves from your friends and hang out with
people who have nothing in common with you; Just open your mind.
Realize that your way, your life, isn't the only path to take. In
short, don't have a narrow mind.
Thank you for listening to me today. Congratulations to those of
you being awarded today-you have taken an important step in your
knowledge of books and facts. But there's another step all of us
can take, a step towards knowledge of people, of the world.
I would like
to end with a quote I found in a fortune cookie a couple of weeks
ago. It reads,
"The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance."