President Wright, members of the board of trustees, students, family and friends,
I have here in my hand a one-dollar bill. George Washington is featured on the bill.
Here I have a five-dollar bill, and we have a picture of Abraham Lincoln.
In my other hand we have the picture of Erik Weihenmayer on the cover of Time magazine. Weihenmayer was the first 100% blind person to reach the highest summit on earth, the Everest.
What do this people have in common? These people have an IDEAL! IDEAL, meaning a unique set of ideas reflecting their aspirations, which reflect their ideas about how the world should operate.
Mark Twain once said: "Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered; either by themselves or by others." Being a genius has nothing to do with having a high IQ. Being a genius is having the capacity of understanding, communicating, and implementing your own ideals, as these people did.
Here at HPU we gained the technical and practical skills to be successful in a global economy. We gained life lasting connections with people from all over the world. We met wonderful minds.
NOW, it is our mission and challenge to link what we have learned at HPU with our unique ideals. To create better work places. To create better communities. To create better services, better products. To create a better world.
It is simple, but it is not easy. It is not easy because we spent too much time paying attention to the daily confusion of our lives, and very little time in implementing what really matters to us, our ideals. We live as if we were going to die tomorrow, and when we are about to die, it seems we have not lived at all.
I would like to share with you a text written by an Argentine poet, Jorge Luis Borges, that expresses my thoughts:
"If I could live my life again, in the next I will try to make more mistakes
I won't try to be so perfect
I will be more relaxed
I will be more fool than I am now, In fact, I will take fewer things seriously
I will be less hygienic
I will take more risks
I will take more trips
I will climb more mountains
I will swim more rivers
I will watch more sunrises
I will go to more places I have never been
I will eat more ice-cream and less lima beans
I will have more real problems and less imaginary ones
If I had a life to live, I would play with more children
I would work bare feet since the beginning of spring until the end of autumn
If I had a life to live, but now I am 85 and I know that I am dying."
Let us find through our IDEALS the mountains to be climbed, the rivers to swim.
Hope to see you in 10 years on the cover of Time magazine; and why not in currencies of countries around the world?