Letters to Seniors: Michael Mann
May 26, 2020
This year reveals in the starkest way that nothing is permanent, that our lives are only somewhat under our control, that we must bend in the wind or risk breaking.
This experience will make poets out of some of you; others will become filmmakers and musicians; others novelists. Some of you will go into medicine to find cures for the next pandemic. Some of you will return to the land and grow food and raise animals to feed your fellow Vermonters. Some of you will run for public office and demonstrate, for a new generation, the leadership Vermonters have always shown in hard times.
James Joyce wrote, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.” By race, he was referring to his Irishness, his cultural roots. Each of you, too, has now encountered the reality of experience, and each of you is forging in the smithy of your soul the uncreated conscience of the human race.
We count on you to restore the earth to balance, to be kind and generous to the downtrodden, to think of others before yourself, to create, to be great. We believe in you.
All the best, class of 2020!
Class of 1984