Bish answered them telling that story about me. He had listened to a chubby little fourth grade kid and made me feel important, like the way I thought was the future.
Well, when Apartheid was abolished, Desmond was chosen to be in charge of a commission that would deal with Human Rights violations that had occurred during the government.
Because the world knew, like I know, that Desmond would listen to both Blacks and whites, and that Bish would bring healing to all South Africans; because they know, the way I know, that the magic of Desmond Tutu is in his ears, and then, it’s in his words.
His ripple hit me, and I’ve come to Barnstable High School, and it hits all of you as I try to listen.
Forty years later, he still laughs and makes me laugh, and he still listens to my stories about the students at Barnstable High School, and what they are doing to be the change. He takes my face in his hands and says, “Listen to them, they will take care of you when you’re old.”
So after today, this amazing day, we’ve all been given a whole new skills set on how to send ripples of hope, and love, and compassion. It is that kind of ripple that has and will always create effective positive change in the world.
I hope that you will remember it’s the small acts, the smile, the “hello” in the hallway, the high-five on a Friday morning, and listening, really listening to each other.