Listening to a commencement speaker on your graduation can either be a chore or a pleasure. If the talk is too lengthy and boring, we really can’t blame you if your attention wanders elsewhere.
It is, of course, a different story when the speaker is lively, engaging, and motivational. Graduates of the California State University Maritime Academy had the opportunity to listen to such a speaker when they invited award-winning journalist and author Dr. Rick Rigsby.
In his speech, Dr. Rick Rigsby paid tribute to the “wisest man” he ever met – a “third grade drop out”.
As successful as he is, Rigsby shared that he was greatly blessed because of the advice he received from his late father – who was a “simple cook” and a “third grade drop out”.
“It’s not oxymoronic for me to say the wisest man I ever met was a third grade drop out.”
According to him, his father dropped out of school in order to help his family in their farm. That, however, did not become a hindrance for him to keep learning as he taught himself to read and write. Later on, he would teach his children the importance of combining “knowledge and wisdom to make an impact.”
Rigsby’s father is the man!
As he recalled during the talk:
“My father decided he was going to be a man—not a black man, not a brown man, not a white man—but a man. He literally challenged himself to be the best that he could all the days of his life.”
Rigsby reminded the graduates:
“I’m not worried that you won’t be successful. I’m worried that you won’t fail from time to time. Wisdom will come to you through the unlikeliest of sources, a lot of times through failure. When you hit rock bottom remember this: while you’re struggling, rock bottom can also be a good foundation on which to build and on which to grow.”
Watch the speech here and be motivated:
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