This last week I had the privilege of hearing a very unusual commencement speech delivered by Roma Downey of “Touched by an Angel” fame.  After sitting through an hour of awards and the usual valedictorian/salutatorian announcements, we were unprepared for what was coming:  Mrs. Downey steps to the podium dressed in green satin, looking far younger than her age, and delivers, in her fabulous Irish brogue, a speech for the ages.

The gist of it was that when we graduate (and every day thereafter) we are constantly bombarded by questions about the future: where will you go to college?  Where will you work?  When are you getting married?  When will you have children?  When will you retire? And so on.  She makes the point that we live in the future while the present passes us by, underappreciated and almost unnoticed.  She makes a plea to the audience and the graduates, including my dearest daughter Juliet, to “hit the pause button”; to pause and enjoy the moment, honor the present, and be grateful for what we have.

Of course this blog cannot hope to convey the feelings, emotion and inspiration that speech triggered in the audience, but I hope writing about it will remind you how deeply we all need to follow Ms. Downey’s advice. Stop the madness for a day or two.  Be thankful for what you have and those around you who make your life better.  Take some time off from all the future planning.  Hit pause.

When you do hit pause, we are here for you, surrounded by vines as far as the eye can see, with great service and everything else you might need to follow Roma’s great suggestion.