Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Faculty of Education, Health and Human Development & Faculty of Global and Community Studies
Graduation ceremonies are one of those incredible times in life where we get to reflect one what brought us here. Why are you – in a gown or not – sitting in this auditorium today? Reflecting on the journey that has brought me to this moment, I am moved by how many people it takes to make one person’s life a success. As each graduate walks across the stage, I picture a whole trail of friends, family, loved ones, faculty members, peers, professors and mentors walking across with them. Each one of our steps has been supported by countless others who have lovingly sacrificed for us, cheered us on, comforted us and dreamed with us on our journey. Today is as much about celebrating the graduates as it is about celebrating the people who supported them to get here.
And support can manifest itself in many different ways. A piece of learning I have gained in the past 3 years in the Capilano music therapy program is that some of the most inspirational and important moments are the small ones. It’s easy to acknowledge the importance of a day like today. Of milestones. Of breakthroughs. Of heart-swelling moments that take our breath away. The truth is, we spend most of our lives in mundane, seemingly ordinary moments. Learning to see the beauty, joy and inspiration in the other 99% of our lives is sometimes the tricky part.
As music therapists, and other health professionals, we are finely attuned to watching for and pouncing on these small moments in our client’s lives. For some clients, we praise a rare smile, an arm motion or eye contact, in others, we celebrate moments of lucidity or simply the willingness to show up. It’s not that our standards are low, instead we see the value of affirming the everyday, the mundane. These seemingly insignificant moments are the ones that make up our lives. We focus step by step on the small, everyday moments of a clients life, while keeping our mind on broader goals and outcomes in the future.
When Mother Theresa was in Calcutta she asked herself daily: “What small thing can I do today, with great love.” It was her daily, unremembered acts of kindness that accumulated to make up a lifetime worthy of sainthood. Small ordinary moments, made up a large, extraordinary life.
That is what I want to challenge every one of you with today. Keep your goals big and dreams even bigger. And. Maintain that care and respect at the micro level in every interaction you have. Affirm and celebrate the people around you that you love. Affirm and celebrate your clients at work.
There is nothing you can do that can’t be done. Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung. All you need is love.
Congratulations class of 2015!
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