May is a special month that brings beautiful flowers and an end to snowy weather. It is May that gives us the time to celebrate mothers, those that fought and died for our country and hundreds of thousands of graduates throughout the country. This blog is written with those young graduates in mind today, so I feel Emerson's quote is the perfect way to start.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple was asked to speak to George Washington University's graduating class. His speech made me smile, because it seemed to go so perfectly with my blog last week. He was addressing the future of these students and their search for jobs. I remember giving my children a similar message.
"Graduates, your values matter. They are your North Star. Otherwise it’s just a job -- and life is too short for that. You don’t have to choose between doing good and doing well. It’s a false choice, today more than ever. Your challenge is to find work that pays the rent, puts food on the table, and lets you do what is right and good and just."---Tim Cook
When I decided to be a teacher I knew that I would never make a great deal of money. I did as much as I could to advance myself in my profession, but my reward was never monetary. I never regretted that for a minute. Corny as it might sound, my reward was in watching the students "get it" when I taught a lesson. My reward was in watching students understand the morality in the lessons I taught. My reward was in watching them become teachers, social workers, and people who serve their communities and do what is right and good and just.
The book The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott shows us that a man's morality is often tested in his lifetime. When Sam Capra is given the task of killing an innocent man in order to save his newborn son, the morality he spent a lifetime believing in is put aside. His search for his son and his search for his victim make for an exciting and entertaining thriller.
Of course it is difficult to mention the word morality in the same paragraph as the book The Fourth Reich by Helen Goltz. She tells the story of Benjamin Hoefer who has written the story of his father Eli, who survived the death camps of Nazi Germany...or so Ben believes. While on a book tour strange things begin happening to him, and when Ben sees the words "Nazi, Jew Hater and Fake" scratched across the last frame of a film he is showing that depicts Eli's last days in captivity, he knows he needs help. While this is definitely an upsetting premise, Goltz tells a good story filled with strong characters.
Well, Mother's Day has passed and Memorial Day is soon upon us. Enjoy the rest of this month with your mothers, war heroes and graduates, and remember that a good book is one of the best gifts you can give someone.