We recently received an email from a gentleman named Pete Windle, who told us that his daughter Claudia was about to graduate from Cabrini College (just outside Philadelphia) in May with a dual major in Elementary and Special Education. “At this point in her young life,” said Pete, “she is absolutely certain what she wants to do: she wants to teach and give her talents to children who need that little bit of additional attention. When Claudia finds herself around children, she lights up.”
About a year ago, Pete gave Claudia a copy of The Go-Giver and wrote a note on the first page: “Always be a giver! Love, Dad.”
Claudia was recently invited to compete with a select group of students to be the valedictorian of her graduating class. She crafted her short speech titled “Always be a Giver.” She gave her speech on April 11 to a panel of professors. Although she was not selected, she came away from the process feeling really good about speech and genuinely happy for chance to participate with such a prestigious group.
Pete attached a copy of Claudia’s speech, and we wanted to share it with our Scrapbook readers:
“Always be a giver.” This quote was etched inside a copy of the self-motivating bestseller, The Go-Giver, a gift from my father. After being given the book, I initially tried to make sense of the vague advice written on the title page and wondered what relevance this book had in my life.
A few days later, I decided to read the short parable about a young man yearning for the secrets of success. After meeting an older and wiser mentor, the novice entrepreneur quickly discovers that a true sense of accomplishment is yielded by giving to others.
After reading, I briefly reflected on the positive message the book conveys, then placed it back on my shelf, where it would begin to collect dust. Not until recently, however, have I blown off the cobwebs covering the book and thought about the significance its message communicates:
We can attain success by giving and sharing with those around us.
Friends, family, and my fellow 2011 Cabrini graduates, we sit here today each possessing an abundance of talents and wisdom acquired throughout our lives and education. Whether you are 22 or 92, you have gained a wealth of information and experienced events that have provided you with valuable knowledge. But let me ask, what would our knowledge, talents, and life experiences be if we did not give or share them?
If we did not share these things, they would collect dust like the book on the shelf my father gave me, and benefit no one. Your everyday actions and choices can translate into success through the giving to others. Career choices and degrees can be thought of not only as titles or menial jobs, but as a means to use your knowledge to help those around you.
Consider yourself more than a teacher, but rather an individual seeking to educate the minds that dictate our future. Consider yourself more than a business expert, but rather a person who provides the skills needed to create a productive enterprise for the next generation. Consider yourself more than a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional, but rather someone who discloses what they know to keep the bodies and minds of humanity healthy. Consider yourself more than a social worker, lawyer or one who enforces the law, but rather an individual who gives their talents to maintain a peaceful and just society.
Your accomplishments, no matter what profession or career you decide to pursue or already pursue, can be built upon a foundation of generosity. Know that you can attain true success by sharing the wonderful gifts you possess and by always being a giver.
So, guests and Cabrini Class of 2011, I would like you to join me by not just doing something extraordinary, but by giving something extraordinary.