January 19, 1999
A lesson in the law of nobility
- "Activate yourself to duty by remembering your position, who you are, and what you have obliged yourself to be."
~ Thomas „ Kempis ~
To the Nobility of Montague High School: A lesson in the law of nobility. God has given
you talents that have appointed you to an admired position, and once youíre in the public light, it's
impossible to hide again in personal darkness. Noble, famous, of high rank, notable. These are all
words that describe nobility. The famous, those of high rank, those who are notable, are, needless
to say, always sought after and revered publicly. Think of how the smallest account of a famous
actor's life is dramatized in the tabloids: "Today: Brad Pitt Takes a Shower!" Think also of
those days long past when you were a dream filled, wide eyed sixth grader sitting in Mr. Kari's
class. The Varsity football players, and the Varsity Cheerleaders, and the Varsity Volleyball
Players, and your friend's hot, older brother all seemed like Gods to us. They didn't know it, but
we mimicked their every move, and we dreamed secretly that we could be just like them! Who
was your hero? Did he or she remember their position? Sure, they were wonderful on the court,
or the field, or the stage, but when you saw them in Todd's, at Plumbs, or at the movies, did they
ever do something that shocked you or let you down, that contradicted all that they stood for in
their profession? Our heros, our nobility, don't always remember their position. They should.
They should remember that little boys and girls, and parents and peers are looking to them for
guidance, for reassurance of what's "cool", for a reflection of those they represent, and for the
trend of the day. Today, whether you want to remember it or not, there are little sixth grade boys
and girls who know you by name, they know your car, they know what your activities are, and
they adore you. They'd do anything to be like you. And they will. They'll do anything you do.
Whether you want to remember it or not, God has given you an unschroudable obligation to be a
good example of nobility to those boys and girls, those parents and peers. Step one in the code of
nobility: Remember your position.
Step two in the code of nobility is to remember who you are. Sure, little Suzy Q in sixth
grade thinks you're a God, but my friend, you are not. While you are nobility, you are technically
nothing that God didn't make you. He has given you the talents that make you noble: A bright
mind, a great vertical jump, soccer finesse, leadership skills, a great toe touch, the ability to set.
So, remember who you are: You are the Honors English student, you are the team captain, you
are the Student Body President, you are the Class President, you are the Drum Major, you are the
upper-classmen. You are a person, not a God, with the grace-filled gift of talent. Your position
of greatness is solely by his grace, and you will adequately fulfill the role he's given you, if you
deplore it with humility.
Step three in the code of nobility is to remember what you have obliged yourself to be.
While God did give you your noble talents, you had to choose to use it. And as we all can attest
to, it wasn't always as easy as flipping a switch. There was work involved. Hours of practice and
tears and frustration and studying. Through your work, you've set goals, dreams of what you've
assigned yourself to be. And it is my duty today, to inform you: That which you've expected of
yourself, the public has come to expect of you as well. They say, in these times of impeachment,
that the president, nobility in this great nation, should be held to a higher plane, simply by the
nature of his position. So it is with you. They know you, they know you're ability, and they look
to you for encouragement, they look to you as a sign of what can be accomplished, and it is your
duty, not to let them down. Remember what you have obliged yourself to be, because if you
don't, the little sixth graders with wide, expectant eyes, the parents with hopes and pride, the
peers with dream-filled affiliation, and the community that needs you, will.