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Life is All About Relationships

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This past June (2004) many of us attended graduation ceremonies celebrating the accomplishments of students who finished another step in their process of lifelong learning.

I attended my niece's graduation from the University of Washington Medical School the first Saturday of June. That same day, in Kirkland, I presented a high school diploma to one of my students from our academic program.

I heard impressive speeches on that day of rhetoric and celebration, but a simple statement keeps coming back to me:

Life is about relationships, not just accomplishments.

The following Saturday, I traveled to St. Regis, Montana, to attend the dedication of a Forest Service trail in honor of my late father, Maynard R. Loge. As many groups and individuals had joined to create a beautiful trail and wonderful tribute to my father, I was again reminded of the importance of building relationships.

Sadly, the next weekend I attended a funeral for a dear uncle in North Dakota. Again, I was reminded of the relationships built by this humble, kind man during his lifetime.

Our accomplishments may be great or small, but it is in building relationships in the lives around us that we can affect eternity.

My brother recalled a day in the life of his daughter while she was attending medical school. She was tending to her medical duties at a hospital on a Friday afternoon, with plans to leave at 5 pm to enjoy the evening at home. But earlier that week, a homeless man had been brought to the hospital without much chance of survival, and now my niece noticed that his condition was grave. She realized that he may die that night, and she knew that he had no loved ones to be there with him. So instead of leaving at 5 to enjoy the evening at home, she chose to stay at the man's side and hold his hand till the end.

Life is about relationships, not just accomplishments.

In the education field, the emphasis is often on academic results. Let us not forget that life has more purpose than academic results or accomplishments. One person can affect the destiny of so many by just giving a "cup of water to the thirsty." Find someone "thirsty", and be willing to give. Children are watching you and will model your sense of purpose-building relationships.

 

 

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