This last semester in our capstone course for the Health, Society and Policy major we were given the topic of “family” for the concentration of the course. I thought to myself, “ Family? Are we studying health? Can we really fill an entire semester talking about family?” I was slightly confused and irritated thinking I wanted a topic related to saving the world; something like environmental change, disease control or health care reform. I soon became aware of how ignorant that thinking was and I spent the rest of the semester not only humbled but with greater insight to my own family and health. I now say with confidence that family is one of the most important aspects of health.
If college has done anything for me, it has been the continuous realization of how much I do not know.
Perhaps the most significant revelation I had during this semester after all of the discussions and lectures was that I am not alone. I do not exist exclusively or without consequence. You also are not alone.
We are interconnected. We are not only an individual. We are family. We are our community. We are in this country together and we are all citizens of earth.
There has recently been much divide in this country and in this world. People are broken over political discord and it is easy to become discouraged when we look at the troubles of the world.
As new graduates I challenge you, as well as myself to not become so tangled in the big issues that we forget who we are and where we have come from. I know I am not alone in having aspirations to make positive changes in our world but it may be that we must start small. We start with ourselves and then our family, friends and neighbors. In the long run we may never make changes on a global scale. We may not be recognized by name or face or have prize winning achievements. But like a stone being thrown into the water, our actions will create ripples and reach others in ways we could not have predicted. As we adventure into the future and step into our chosen fields let us remember to keep throwing stones.
Now lets go make some ripples.