Emma on your graduation as a Registered Nurse  

You and I have stood hand in hand as we have moved from one chapter of our lives to another, several times now. I am thinking of holding your hand at the graveside where we laid your mom to rest when you were 6 --- and the day you came back from your schooling in Canada and we hugged you at the airport -- and when you graduated from high school a few short years ago. Each marked the end of wonderful chapters in life -- but more importantly, they marked the fresh begining of a fresh new phaze that has each turned out to be even more fullfilling than the one before.

Now you are marking the conclusion of your basic proffessional education .. and the begining of life in your choosen and honorable career.   The education system of our culture is designed to imprint the very best and modern scientific principles of knowledge and wisdom into your mind, and it has obviously suceeded  -- Now, quite paradoxly, the most important challenge in your future will be, rather how to honorably deal with the flaws and defects, in both the people and the systems that you will have the privelage of working with.

I am sure that you will be instrumental in making some things better, both arround you, and in your career.  This will be a source of satisfaction - but this is only a part of the challage before you.

I am sure that you will be instrumental in creating an enviornment of healing for aches and suffering in those arround you --- both physical,  and even more importantly in the social contexts that produce the greatest pain for us all, in the world we live in today.

Just as important, I trust that you will learn to find a way to live and work  amongst defects and flaws in people and systems that will not change.  This does not mean acceptance of what is wrong -- but entails  the wisdom of retaining integrity and courage, as one navigates arround the idiotic and the evil  in the world  that has been given for us all to live in. 

Most of all, I hope that you will notice and appreciate the wonderful beauty that often hides within the defects and misery of the human race.  Don't disqualify folks for your respect and love, on the basis of their failures and defeats, or social situation.

Enormously proud of you Emma -- Spend your life freely

Your dad