A Final Lesson on Character

Photo credit:New York Daily News

Tom Minion’s son, Travis, chose a military career. This is what he wrote about his son in the NY Daily News: “A top student and athlete in high school, Travis could have gone to almost any college in the country, but he chose the Naval Academy to serve his country.” It was during his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq that Travis was killed by a sniper’s bullet.

As a father, justly proud of his son, Minion acknowledges, “In a time of an all-volunteer military, making the choice to serve is not to be taken lightly. It is a highly personal choice and one, as I well know, with enormous personal risk. But there are so many other ways to serve and make an impact for others.” And that’s the point Tom Minion wants to make to those now graduating college.

His message is one that is well worth reading and passing along. Minion reminds graduates: “As you enter the real world, your success in life won’t ultimately be judged on how much money you make, how beautiful your house is or the model of your car. You will be judged on your character and on the impact you have on others.” He goes on to say that he’s not suggesting that they have to “change the world” in a big way: “I’m just asking you to change the way that you think. Small steps that together can make a difference.”

Helping a sick neighbor or volunteering in a soup kitchen are examples he gives for how you can affect another person’s life for the better. And Minion’s closing point echoes one that his son, Travis, made: “If not you, who? If not now, when?

New York Daily News, 5/19/14

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