In his yearbook message to the 2013 graduating class of the Henry Viscardi School, John D. Kemp, President & CEO of The Viscardi Center, offered the seniors some advice on how to live based on his own life’s lessons. There is something to be learned from his “parting lesson” – even for those not graduating from the School this evening…
“When I was a young boy, my father and I met Dr. Viscardi and he confirmed for us that not only could I – but why shouldn’t I – be employed, self-sufficient and productive, and have a career and family. I never forgot that meeting, or his words, and set off on building the life I expected.
Today, having watched each of you grow the past two years and prepare for your graduation from the Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center, I offer you some advice that I hope you’ll remember. One more lesson. A lesson on how to live based on my own life’s lessons.
- Be proud of your disability and advocate for yourself.
- Help someone. Offer and give others what you have as you get more satisfaction from helping others than from things you possess.
- Devote yourself to something that gives you purpose and meaning – your family, friends, community.
- Lead, in any way that you’re comfortable, but lead.
- Make good decisions because each one has a consequence.
- Impart wisdom. Share your knowledge and life experiences. Teach by example.
- Have an open mind. Appreciate differences in each other, an opinion, a discussion.
- Scare yourself. Don’t be afraid to take chances, or even to fail.
- Be a problem solver. Find a way to work around and through issues, challenges and the unexpected.
- Say thank you.
- Elevate your expectations. Expect a good life and pursue it.
Go on… become that chairman of the Board or its CEO; business owner; politician; wife, husband, mom or dad; anything you dream of.”