Last night I searched my personal lexicon for the perfect words to say thank you, but they would not come. As I disturbed my husband's sleep with my muffled giggling, as the full box of kleenex went down to its last tissue, as I started and restarted a reply, and as the morning sun started peeking into the windows beside my computer, I realized that the words to say how incredibly happy you have made me feel just simply do not exist.
Wasn't it a Buddha who said, "thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared"? Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me. We clearly draw out the best in each other. Thank you for your trust, appreciation, and kind words.
At the beginning of every new class of students, I struggle with the insecurity of your expectations of me and the class. And at the end of every new class of students, I become more and more certain that as university professors we need to go beyond artificial and temporary intellectual growth to create authentic learning communities where how we care meshes with what we think.
In Futures Studies we look at personal responsibility for creating our preferable futures, both individually and collectively. I am convinced that we will never fully understand the whole of scientific or humanistic phenomenon by isolating our inquiry into narrow packages and surgically examining the parts.
Flatland academic thinking will not suffice. I believe that university professors must recognize that they are nurturing the leaders of the future. You, the leaders of tomorrow, will require not only knowledge but also understanding. In addition to your profound intellectual growth, a university education should help you to further develop your ability to make wise and ethical decisions, a deep level of integrity, good judgement, and human empathy. I hope, in some small way, I have helped you to achieve these ends.
In closing, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the huge efforts of a great student and future statesman, Artin Kiani, in making this tribute possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Artin.
And as 'we' Italians say, "until we meet again". Golly, this reminds me of my assignment to you to write your obituary the way you would like it to read many, many years out and the actions you will need to take in order to achieve these ends. It also reminds me of the scene in 'Princess Bride' where Billy Crystal is using fireplace bellows to try and pump life back into the farmboy. He says something like, "[s]he's not dead yet, [s]he's just nearly dead." Hopefully, not! As the perennial optimist, I will assure you that it is just the beginning point of a new adventure in life.
See you on the Applied Foresight Network and blogspots where the power of one becomes the force of many. Thank you all a million times over for honouring me as your professor, colleague, and friend.
My very best wishes to all of you,
Lynn (aka Madam Luna)