On Courage & Kindness


My cousin, Ana-Maria graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, with a degree in English, at the top of her class and a 4.0, no less. She delivered the commencement address, chosen among a pool of talented candidates, and blew my socks off. I’ve always known her to be eloquent, but her speech truly embodies her maturity and wisdom beyond her years. (She’s to my right in teal.)

I thought I’d share her speech here, since it not only applies to recent graduates but to anyone who wants to leave a mark during their time.

One of my favorite lines from her address: “But the business of life…IS other people. It’s important that we know this because no matter what dreams we’re after, the fundamental value of our time on earth comes down to the connections that we make….It’s in creating and caretaking these connections that kindness and courage come into play.”

I’m so so so proud of my cousin! She’s amazing and I know that she’s going to do great things. If you have a few minutes to spare, it’s worth a listen.

Happy Monday! And congrats to all the graduates (and soon-to-be grads) out there!

(Photo by Travis Hoehne)

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  • Reply Amy Pittsinger 05.23.2011 at 9:43 am

    What a wonderful speech!!!! I was just about to do a post of my graduation, but I’ve got nothing compared to that! Haha, she did a great job!

  • Reply Uncle Bud 05.23.2011 at 11:52 am

    Thanks, Catie! You are a generous big cousin and leader of a truly great cousin club :)

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