During Saint Anselm College's 122nd commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17, commencement speaker Mitt Romney addressed 471 members of the class of 2015, and Dr. Steven DiSalvo presided over his second commencement as president.
Dr. DiSalvo, after congratulating the members of the class, noted that they were graduating in a special year, the 125th anniversary of the college's founding.
"Looking back, not only over your four years here, but over 125 years of tradition and distinction, our unique history is what makes us all part of something truly special," he said. "As you step forward into your bright futures, I know that you will always be Anselmian strong."
NEWS: "Mitt Romney Urges Saint Anselm Graduates to Engage in Citizenship" (College Communications and Marketing)
NEWS: "Romney urges St. Anselm grads to take part in N.H. Primary" (The Boston Globe)
BLOG: "A Message to the Class of 2015" from Dr. DiSalvo, President of the College
VIDEO: Watch the One Hundred and Twenty-second Commencent Exercises in their entirety.
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Photos: Commencement 2015
Speeches & Remarks
Colleen Tracy - Student Address
President DiSalvo, Abbot Mark, the Benedictine community, members of the Board of Trustees, honorary degree recipients, faculty, staff, parents, relatives, friends, and my fellow classmates of the Class of 2015, welcome to Saint Anselm College's 122nd Commencement.
The day we have counted down to for the last 16 years, is finally here. We have had this date circled on our calendars for four years. Well, actually we had yesterday circled, but Saint Anselm has taught us to be flexible. I mean after waiting for four years to to celebrate our many accomplishments, what's one more day? Along with our hopeful anticipation, many of us have also been dreading this day, dreading leaving behind what has become all too familiar and comfortable of a place. We now head into unknown worlds.
Just like we did four years ago.
We walked onto this lush green campus as anxious and awkward, yet eager Freshmen, wondering what this place, this place of higher education devoted to the liberal arts and Benedictine values, would give to us, what it would make us, what it would be to us, and what it would become to us. We began our Saint Anselm College journey with a three day orientation questioning:
Would we like our roommates? Who would become our first friends? And could we handle our courses? Although name aerobics was helpful to remember Adorable Andrew, Krazy Kathryn, or Saintly Steve and get us through those first few days, few of us really believed that we were about to embark on some of the best four years of our lives. I for one could have never imagined how much Saint Anselm College would do for me.
Sitting among us are some of the most dedicated individuals we will ever know. They are our professors, our friends and mentors. Whether we were learning about Plato's Allegory of the Cave in Humanities lecture, the difference between por and para in Spanish, how to do a proper journal entry in Accounting, or how to care for a patient in Health Assessment, our professors exuded passion.
Their dedication to their field and their desire for their students to succeed is always evident. How many college students can say they sat with a theology professor at 5:30 on a Friday to discuss a passage from Luke's Gospel? Or that they met up with a business professor in the coffee shop in the middle of July to go over something they didn't know how to do for their summer internship? Well, we can!
Our professors have opened our minds, challenged us, and helped us succeed. They are the ones who made us into the businessmen and women, scientists, philosophers, teachers, politicians, nurses, and theologians that sit in front of me today. They have helped mold the beginning of our careers; the beginning of our futures. And, thanks to them we leave this outstanding institution today as intelligent men and women with the knowledge, rhetoric, and intellect to contribute to society and take on the world.
Although our academic careers are the reason we decided to attend Saint Anselm College, it isn't entirely why we decided to stay here. Four years ago I sat among most of you while having lunch in Davison Hall with my family on move-in day. Anxious about leaving home and living the college lifestyle, I sat in one of those awesome wooden Davison chairs unable to eat my lunch and foolishly I started to cry. Aren't you glad you hadn't met me yet? My mom tried to encourage me to eat and ignored my crying. I, however, turned to her with tears rolling down my cheeks and said, "Don't leave me here with these people."
It was just a few short weeks later that I sat in those same wooden Davison chairs talking with my friends about anything and everything. For four years those tables and chairs became our kitchen tables where as friends and family we shared everything.
We discussed roommate situations, changing majors, new boyfriends and girlfriends, SBA trips, challenging classes, housing for the next year, spring break plans, and everything nursing. Oh and we can't forget the weekly Sunday brunch recap of the previous night! It was times like those when I knew Saint A's was home. As Big Dave says, "This isn't just a great community, this is a family."
I mean in what other family can you count on Billy Darling shouting, "Good Morning Lowers!" in the early afternoon, or could you hear Ryan Sandford's voice streaming out his window, or could you see Holly Foster walking around campus with her shorts and Ugg boots on, even in the middle of the winter. Throughout the entire campus we all could count on Tammy knowing our grill order or Leslie starting with our drink while in Davison, an email going out when a lost earring was found, or a door being held open for you maybe even a little too long.
Over the course of four years we have together endured being locked in our residence halls due to Hurricane Irene, and worrying about our classmates in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing before welcoming them safely home that night. We've made it through at least one government shutdown, and the snowiest, coldest winter any of us ever hope to see.
Together we conquered way more than all that. We have seen multiple teams win championships, peers making Dean's List and being inducted into honor societies, and a new residence hall being built before our eyes. We have experienced a new Abbot and a new College President. We have explored the world through study abroad, aided those less fortunate through Service and Solidarity trips and Road for Hope, and experienced the real world through internships and practicums.
We have shared our faith, expressed our ideas, and bettered the community. We have kept with tradition, welcomed new Anselmians, and honored those we have lost. We have passed theses and comprehensive exams. We have come to the end of our Saint Anselm College journey.
It has certainly been a ride. But there is no other route I would have wanted to take. Or, any other group of people I would have wanted to travel with along the way. And, although Saint Anselm College will always be a place we can come back to in the future, right now at this moment it is everything. Saint Anselm College is our school. It has given us the finest education any of us could ever ask for. It has provided us with leaders and mentors whose examples we aspire to live up to.
It has given us experiences that have opened doors to our futures. It has opened our hearts, souls, and minds to God. It has graced us with the most amazing friends. Saint Anselm College is home and always will be.
And although we sat in those wooden Davison chairs yesterday for the last time as Saint Anselm College students - and yeah - I cried again, those chairs will always be waiting for us to return. No matter where your future takes you, remember that you will always have a place at the Hilltop. Because we are Hawks, we are Anselmian, we are family. Forever and always.
Thank you and congratulations to the Class of 2015!
Faculty Award - American Association of University Professors, Presented by Maria McKenna, Ph.D.
Each year the Saint Anselm College Chapter of the American Association of University Professors presents the Excellence in Faculty Accomplishment Award, given "for excellence in teaching and scholarship, contributions to the academic community through active and positive relations with colleagues and students, and an involved concern for humanity."
This year's award is given to a colleague whose excellence in teaching is perhaps captured by the closing sentences of a student-authored tribute in the Crier this semester: "it's her engaging smile and warm affection that will be missed most...Her ability to mobilize students into thinking outside the box is what makes her classes so special and...gives students tools and resources to grow as scholars."
Providing the tools and resources to help students grow as creative thinkers and scholars, this is the legacy of this professor and department chair. The founder of the International Studies certificate program and of the International Relations major, she was also a key mover in establishing the Environmental Politics major, and in the addition of a number of new courses of study, including Russian Politics, International Political Economy, Third World Politics, International Law, and Politics and the Environment. She founded and organized a series of twelve lectures here at the college by renowned international authorities in the field of international relations, including Europe's first female president and the president of the World Wildlife Federation. She has helped students find internships and jobs in places as far-flung as Mali and Beijing, Washington and California, in government and in agencies such as CARE, the State Department, and the Peace Corps.
Her powerful and positive effect on our community has meant that the spirit of what she does has been as transformative as the programs she has initiated and led, such as the moot court sessions she organized that had the Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court presiding over student presentations of their cases in the chambers of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. She led field trips to the United Nations, founded and taught in a summer program that took students to France; and created a course on Politics and the Arts and organized an interdisciplinary conference on that subject in 2008.
Her involved concern for humanity may be captured in the title of her address in April 2014 at the United Nations: "Nature's Universe and Global Political Culture." In a recent book chapter entitled "Approaching Harmony with Nature," she wrote: "Protecting nature calls for philosophical thinking, poetic inspiration, and spiritual reflection, in addition to scientific, economic and social considerations." Some part of her excellence in scholarship is conveyed by the titles of the three books she has written or co-edited: International Advertising Handbook; People and Their Planet: Searching for Balance; and Candles in the Dark: A New Spirit for a Plural World. Admirers of her scholarship include the likes of Kofi Annan, who praised Candles in the Dark as a "source of inspiration" for "[t]he great challenge that faces us at the start of this millennium, to ensure that globalization becomes a force that benefits all people, not a windfall that rewards only a privileged few."
The message in her teaching, scholarship and service come together to illustrate the value of thinking holistically about students, the curriculum, our natural environment, sustainable social progress, and ways to make lifelong learning a way of transforming and protecting the fragile and vibrant worlds we share. I am honored to present the 2015 AAUP Award for Excellence in Faculty Accomplishment to Professor of Politics Barbara Baudot.
Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo - President's Address
Dear Members of the Class of 2015, Family and Friends, Abbot Mark Cooper and Members of the Monastic Community, Madame Chair Pietrini Smith and Members of the Board of Trustees, Gov. Romney, Mr. Loughery, Ms. Alcindor, Dr. LaForce and president emeritus Fr. Jonathan DeFelice,
Today, we celebrate the achievements of our seniors during the past four years on the Hilltop. We look back in awe of how quickly time passes. You arrived here with great expectations and a hurricane blast of enthusiasm - which is especially fitting, since your class arrived with Hurricane Irene in 2011. You leave this place having contributed greatly to the life of community. Your academic journey has prepared you well to enter fields such as healthcare, education, journalism, politics, business and law. The rigorous path, rooted in the liberal arts, has sharpened your oratory abilities, critical thinking skills and theological foundation. This was not simply a transfer of knowledge, but rather a course from which to grow - academically, socially and spiritually. You have been led by the charge to contribute to the common good and for that, you are uniquely Anselmian.
This year in particular has presented a remarkable opportunity to reflect on 125 years of Anselmian history. As we have recalled so many of the people and events that have shaped our institution, I have also reflected on the wider world around us. In 1889 when Saint Anselm was founded:
- The Coca Cola Company was incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia;
- The Eiffel Tower opened to the public in Paris, France;
- The abolitionist Frederick Douglas, an advocate for black and women's suffrage, was named minister to Haiti;
- Mr. John T. Reid opened the first golf course in the U.S.; and
- The Wall Street Journal was first published.
Amazingly, 125 years later, we are all familiar with most, if not all, of these people, places and things. And perhaps the most familiar of all, for those of you taking photos today with your smartphones: On April 6, 1889, George Eastman placed the first Kodak Camera on sale.
It really would appear that, the more things change, the more they stay the same. This day is an opportunity to reflect on how we as Anselmians are rooted in our past and how much that past has to offer us as we move forward. Before me is a beautiful greenspace, our campus Quad, which has been the site of so many memorable moments over the years, for your class and for the college. It has not only survived the elements (especially last winter's snow), but has been a unique stage for national political events and presidential campaigns for the past 50 years. Many conversations that have shaped our country's direction and policies have taken place at Saint Anselm. Perhaps in August of 2012, you were here on the Quad listening to Governor Mitt Romney; today, we are honored that Governor Romney, one of the foremost contributors to ongoing national dialogue about the future of our country, will offer our commencement address.
Behind me stands an iconic building that has been tested by time and literally, tried by fire. In 1892, when the almost-completed college building burned to the ground, our founding fathers had a choice. They could leave this place and return to their home in Newark, New Jersey - or rebuild and honor their commitment to the establishment of Benedictine, Catholic higher education in New Hampshire. Their decision to rebuild, using many of the same bricks, speaks volumes. That commitment lives on through the continued presence of the monastic community here. We honor our founders, the monks of the Order of Saint Benedict, and we continue to be grateful to their successors, the monks of Saint Anselm Abbey, for preserving our mission today and into the future, and for meeting the challenges along the way with unwavering optimism and faith.
All of you have also experienced challenges along the way, and for some of you, this journey has been an especially difficult one. We remember today one of your classmates, Kayla Bertolami, who was taken from us last summer. We are honored to have members of her family in attendance here today to accept her degree later in the ceremony. For some, there have been academic challenges, financial constraints, personal losses, and much more. Yet the college experience mirrors those you will have beyond this campus. You will be faced with similar hurdles in the years to come, and because of these four years, you will be better prepared to deal with them. Obtaining a Saint Anselm degree is not designed to be an easy task. In fact, the rigor is what makes us exceptional. Through the best of days, and particularly during the most challenging, you have had friends and family at your side. These years would not have been the same without the support of your loved ones. They share in your joy today. Always remember to tell those around you how much you love them, and thank them for their support.
Your professors also share in this celebration. Commencement represents the successful culmination of your academic work here at Saint Anselm, but as you leave the Hilltop, you will take with you the lessons you have learned both in and out of the classroom from the faculty and staff who have guided your educational journey. Their devotion to their disciplines and to their students have changed many of your lives, as well as the life of our college. We also bid a bittersweet farewell to the 12 faculty members who are retiring this year. Together, they represent a monumental total of 376 years of faithful service to Saint Anselm College - but the impact that they have had during their time here has been immeasurable. We have all been the benefactors of their wisdom and generosity.
When you leave campus today, you will have turned a page on an amazing chapter in your life, and will continue to write your story in new places among new people. But I hope you remember that no matter where your journey takes you, you are always welcome here. You may be leaving the ranks of the student body, but you are now and forever entering the alumni community. At Saint Anselm College, we say that "we make history where history is being made every day." Looking back, not only over your four years here, but over 125 years of tradition and distinction, our unique history is what makes us all part of something truly special. As you step forward into your bright futures, I know that you will always be Anselmian strong.
I leave you with one final thought: College is for four years. Saint Anselm College is forever.
May God continue to guide and bless you in all that you do. Thank you.
Governor Mitt Romney - Commencement Address
President DiSalvo, Abbot Mark Cooper, trustees, faculty, honored guests, and weary parents. To the class of 2015: Well done, and congratulations.
To you parents, the years of investment and prayers have added up to this joyful achievement. Hopefully, you are about to experience the new American Dream, which is no longer owning your own home, it is getting your kids out of the home you own.
You have just heard that I have been awarded an honorary degree. When I think of all the times I have been here at Saint Anselm, for debates, forums, town meetings, and rallies, I might argue that it is an earned degree. But to get one of those, I guess I'd have had to win!
16 years of education has made your world a great deal bigger than the world of your childhood. It's a funny thing about little kids: they don't see much beyond what's right around them. They see their family, their school, maybe their city or town, but they just can't imagine distant places. Their vision, their world is like a small circle, bounded by their very limited experience.
Your world is now breathtakingly large, almost without boundaries. With such vastness and with so many possible directions to take, some of you may understandably feel somewhat anxious and uncertain. You may even be tempted to look for a smaller, more comfortable world, one that's less complex, and less demanding. That's not who you are and that's not what Saint Anselm has prepared you to do. To experience a fulfilling, purposeful life, one thing you're going to have to do it this: live a large life.
Living large means embracing every fruitful dimension of life.
It means continuing to expand your world and engaging in it as fully as you are able.
Let me offer a few suggestions about how to do that. The first involves your friends.
I remember sitting in a business class, looking around the room and thinking to myself that I'd probably never see any of these guys again after I graduated. All my attention was focused on what was being taught. But you know what, I've forgotten almost everything that was taught; it's the classmates I remember, and it's those friends that I value most today.
40 years since my graduation, the guys in my six person study group continue to get together. We've congratulated one another on our highs and consoled one another on our lows.
Believe it or not, your parents can become even closer friends than they are today. My friend Stuart Stevens decided to take his father to every single Ole Miss football game, home or away. What's unusual about that is that his father is 95 years old. And Stuart had moved away from home for college over forty years ago. He lives in Vermont and his Dad lives in North Carolina. So these father-son excursions would involve a great deal of time and travel – and long talks. He would dig deep into understanding his dad: his personality, his dreams and his fears. Delving so far into his father's personhood, their friendship deepened, and their relationship expanded in such interesting ways that a noted New York publisher, Knopf, will publish a book about their experience this fall.
Your life will be larger if you value and nourish friendships, friends from here at Saint Anselm, from your home, and from the growing circle of your life.
For most of you, living life to the fullest will also mean marriage and children. I don't expect that everyone here believes as I do that the Bible is the word of God or even that it is inspired by God. If not, then at least you will have to acknowledge that it represents the wisdom of the ages, written by extraordinary thinkers and philosophers. Either way, its counsel warrants serious attention.
In its opening pages, Adam gives this direction: "therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." The "one flesh" part we get, but the part about leaving mom and dad and getting married trips some people up.
I'm surely not going to tell you when to tie the knot. You've got parents who will do that. But I will tell you that marriage has been the single-most rewarding part of my life, by far. Marriage involves passion, conflict, emotion, fear, hope, compromise, and understanding – in short; it is living to the max.
And then children. In the Old Testament, Psalm 127 says: "children are a heritage of the Lord... As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them."
I'm not sure whether having five sons qualifies as a full quiver, but I can affirm that they brought immeasurable happiness. And to my point, they engaged Ann and me in life, in ways we would not have expected.
On one occasion, Ann and I were invited to speak to students at the Harvard Business School about our choice of careers, I as a management consultant and she as a full-time mom. Ann was reluctant, in part because two other couples would also be speaking on the same topic, and both of the other women had chosen to be Wall Street bankers.
In the class, the other couples went first, I followed, and Ann spoke last. She explained that while she expected to have a career outside the home in the future, she had chosen to be a full-time mom until her five kids were raised. She went on to explain that her job had required more of her than she had imagined: she was psychologist, tutor, counselor, scoutmaster, coach, nurse practitioner, nutritionist, budget director, and more. When she sat down, the class was silent for several seconds and then it rose in a standing ovation.
Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister of Israel, was asked what her greatest accomplishment was. "Raising my daughter," she answered.
Marriage and children expand your world and engage you more fully in it.
There's a family burger joint I like whose founder put out a little book of his homespun wisdom. He says that to be happy requires three things: someone to love, something to look forward to, and something to do, in other words, work. You might be inclined to think that a Garden of Eden life would be preferable to working at a job, but you'd be wrong. I'm convinced that Adam and Eve would have been bored to tears if they'd stayed in the garden: no kids, no challenges, no job. I think that Adam being made to grow food "by the sweat of his brow" was a blessing, not a curse.
Of course, there's a lot not to like about a job: the early alarm clock, the rush hour traffic, the stress. But work engages you in life. You come to know more people, to understand their motivations and values, and to learn the intricacies of the enterprise that employs you.
Don't waste time bemoaning your job. Don't skim by with the minimum of effort. Dive in. Get more from your job than the paycheck. Hard work is living large.
There's a part of life that you won't welcome: bad things. Bad things that happen to you. If you're like I was, you imagine that bad things happen infrequently and that when they do, they mostly happen to other people.
I used to sit in church and look around the congregation. Everyone was smiling and happy. Life seemed to be nothing but puppies and pansies for everybody. And then my church asked me to serve as the pastor of that congregation. As pastor, I got to really know the people behind those smiling faces. And to my surprise, many of them held what Ann and I call a "bag of rocks" behind their back. That bag of rocks could be a chronic illness, a battle with some kind of addiction, a child that couldn't keep up in school, unemployment, a financial crisis, withering loneliness, or a marriage on the rocks. To my surprise, almost every single family faced one kind of challenge or another. They all had a bag of rocks behind their backs. We all will hurt.
Engaging in your world means accepting that hurt, confronting it, and endeavoring to ascend above it so that you can keep pursuing a fulfilling and abundant life.
During my campaign, I met Sam Schmidt in Las Vegas. In January of 2000, Sam's Indianapolis racing car hit the wall. This father of two young children spent five months on a respirator and was rendered quadriplegic--he can move nothing below his neck. He and I spoke about his life today: his morning begins with a two to three hour routine for bowel, bladder, teeth, shower and dressing. That would be enough for a lot of people to just give up. But instead, Sam owns and manages an Indy car racing team which regularly dominates the Indy Lights, having won 60 races. And he himself has actually begun to drive again. He has a Corvette that has been fitted out with special controls. To accelerate, he blows in an air tube. To brake, he sucks the air out of it. To turn left or right, he looks carefully left or right respectively. Accordingly, he warned his racing buddies: "You gotta keep the bikinis out of the grandstands because you don't want any sudden movements."
Sam's disability is still there. He endures it every day, every hour. But that has not kept him from fully engaging in life.
Your career may be very different than you expect.
The biggest departure from my predicted career path came with my decision to run for political office. When I stepped into the auditorium to debate Ted Kennedy in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, I turned to Ann and asked: "In your wildest dreams, did you see me running for US Senate?" "Mitt," she replied, "you weren't in my wildest dreams." Actually, she didn't say that. That was a joke I bought for my campaign from a joke writer.
Through all these occupations, I have experienced successes and failures. I am asked what it felt like to lose to President Obama. Well, not as good as winning. Failures aren't fun, but they are inevitable.
More importantly, failures don't have to define who you are. Some people measure their life by their secular successes – how high on the corporate ladder did they get? How much money did they make? Did they do better than their high school classmate?
If that's the kind of success you're looking for, you're bound to be disappointed. Life has way too much chance and serendipity to be assured fame or fortune.
More importantly, if your life is lived for those things, yours will be a shallow and unfulfilling journey.
The real wealth in life is in your friendships, your marriage, your children, what you have learned in your work, what you have overcome, your relationship with God, and in what you have contributed to others.
This last dimension, contribution to others, is often the most overlooked and most undervalued.
Tom Monaghan's father died when Tom was just four years old. His mother entrusted him to a Catholic orphanage because she was unable to care for him and for his brother. He graduated from high school and enrolled in the University of Michigan. The tuition proved to be beyond his reach, so to help meet costs, he bought and ran a pizza shop.
He called his shops Domino's and Tom became wealthy. He bought a Bugatti for $8.4 million. He bought the Detroit Tigers and won the World Series the next year.
When I met him in 1998, I was surprised to find him seated in a closet-sized ante-chamber to what had once been his lavish and spacious executive suite. He had sold the Tigers and the car. Tom had signed what was called the Millionaire's Vow of Poverty. Accordingly, he would not drive a luxury car, fly in a private plane, or assume any of the trappings of wealth. That had included trading his impressive office for the small cubicle where I had found him.
Tom explained that reading the Bible and the essays of C.S. Lewis had reminded him of his upbringing in the Catholic orphanage. He wanted to change his life, and devote his remaining years to service.
On behalf of Bain Capital, I ultimately wrote Tom a check to buy Domino's for over $1 billion. All but a small living stipend he then turned around and donated to Catholic charities. He founded a college and named it, not after himself, but after Mary: Ave Maria University.
I asked him a few weeks ago what the most rewarding part of his life was--winning the World Series, building Domino's, or driving his Bugatti. You can guess his answer. "It wasn't the toys – I've had enough toys to know how important they aren't. It was giving back, through the university."
Living life in fullness includes serving others, and doing so without pride or personal gain. It will fill your heart and expand your mind. I've seen that kind of service in large and small ways in my own family.
My sister has devoted the last 45 years of her life to the care and development of her Down syndrome son. My wife volunteered as a teacher for a class of at-risk girls. My mother was a frequent visitor to the homes of shut-ins and widows. My brother-in-law served in the Navy. My cousin Joan was foster mother to 57 children. My father and I both ran for political office.
Wait a second: that last item, running for office, may not seem like real service to you. I know that for some, politics is an occupation, and a fine one at that. But for Dad and me, it came after our careers were over. I believed, and my father believed, that we could really help people if we were elected.
Most of you probably won't run for office, but the country needs all of you to serve. America faces daunting challenges: generational poverty, looming debt, a warming climate, and a world that is increasingly dangerous and tumultuous. Washington appears inept, powerless and without an effective strategy to overcome any of these. America needs your passion, your impatience with inaction, your participation in the political discourse. You have the opportunity to take part in one of America's greatest endeavors - New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Get involved with the candidate of your choice. Work a phone bank, march in a parade like my favorite: the 4th of July Wolfeboro parade. Go door to door. Attend a town hall meeting and ask tough questions. New Hampshire is the greatest presidential proving ground we have; its enduring impact is only as certain as the next generation of citizens who choose to get involved. Engaging in your world includes engaging in citizenship.
The cozy little world of your childhood is long gone. You may be tempted to try to create for yourself that same kind of small and safe circle, concentrating on entertainments for yourself, doing the minimum at work, reading nothing because nothing has been assigned, avoiding meaningful commitments, complaining about the inevitable unfairnesses of life. Alternatively, you can live large by expanding your world and engaging in your world, constantly learning, nourishing friendships, overcoming reversals, engaging in citizenship, and serving others. That is the road less travelled, and it will make all the difference.
God bless you in your life's journey.