In the same article from which I quoted yesterday, the author goes on to describe the salutatorian's talk. This young man used his five minutes at the podium to acknowledge each of the school's nine teachers.
"Blake said that without their instruction and support, he would not have even thoght about an academy appointment (he had been accepted to the Naval Academy, a high honor) or known how to get one. Understanding that you don't succeed all by yourself will help make him a fine naval offier.
"I suppose Blake could have told his classmates to 'walk confidently in the direction of their dreams,' but instead he said 'thank you' to his teachers and the other community members who had helped him do that. One of the local Tiingit India elders who live in this part of Alaska once told me that sometimes 'thank you' is the most important speech you can make. Blake proved that."
As I read and re-read this article, I was moved by the recounting of the talks by these young people. What wisdom and maturity they show. And what lessons they have to teach some of us who are much older.
Joy for today: remembering the importance of "thank you."