|Today’s scripture reading:
I’m sure that most graduation speeches are fairly forgettable, but there’s one that I will remember for the rest of my life. When I graduated from Great Falls High School in Great Falls, Montana, the student body choice for graduation speaker was Brian Johnson, an outstanding musician, successful debater, and all-around nice guy. Brian was also a friend of mine, and a member of my church youth group. Because of that, I knew more than most about the trials of his high school years—getting out of a bad home situation and couch-surfing for a time, then eventually raising the money it took to hire a lawyer, go before a judge and legally change his name in an act of self-preservation and self-definition. So I remember well Brian’s speech on our graduation weekend. I remember the staccato tapping of a wooden stick on the talking drum that he used to frame his message. I remember the audience of hundreds paying rapt attention to each word, and the silence in between them. Most of all, I remember the illumination inside of me when Brian said that character is not so much who you are when everybody is watching, but who you are when nobody is watching.