Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert on Lifting Others Up

Tributes are pouring in for legendary journalist, Tim Russert, who died today (13 June 2008).

Here is one of his sayings about children and helping those who struggle. It comes from the conclusion of his 2000 Commencement Address at Niagara University:

But please do this world one small favor.

Remember the people struggling along side you and below you. The people who haven't had the same opportunity, the same blessings, the same education.

No matter what profession you chose, you must try, even in the smallest ways, to improve the quality of life of the children in our country.

We can build more prisons…and put more police on the streets…and we will …but unless we instill in our young the most basic skills and cultural values…we will be a very different society in the next century. We must motivate--inspire--yes insist--they truly love and respect one another.

But while we are trying to change behavior, we cannot forget those who have not been reached. We must teach our children that they are never, never, entitled, but they are always, always loved. Liberals call it doing good…conservatives call it enlightened self-interest. No matter what your political philosophy, you know there is a child you can coach, mentor, teach--some are sick, some are lonely, some are uneducated. Most have little control over their fate. Give them a hand. Give them a chance. Give them their dignity. Indeed there is a simple truth; "No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down to lift up another."

That is your charge. That is your opportunity.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Tim Russert.