Graduation Speech Sample
If you ask the average person what we do as pharmacists, they might envision us not as doctors, but more like bean counters. Literally. Counting beans or pills and popping them into a bottle. We might as well have taken a single accounting class and been done with it.
Little do they know how our responsibilities extend beyond this. How we get involved clinically or have direct patient contact. Little do they know because, possibly, they haven’t seen enough of that. And maybe -- just maybe -- we can help to change all that simply by getting involved. By making sure that our legacy isn’t just one of driving fast cars or having beautiful houses, but one of serving other people with the skills we’ve learned over the past several years.
It’s not our job to transform the public image of pharmacy. But it IS our opportunity. One by one by one, each of us moving on from here into our lives, anywhere across this country ... serving our communities as the doctors we are.
Maybe one of us has some fancy destiny so that, in the simple act of extending ourselves to our communities, someone’s actions go further and either really progress the cause of pharmacy or change the world in some other profound way. It’s hard to foresee what could happen, but we know the impact that one person can make.
We think of someone like Mother Theresa, for instance, who wasn’t rich and didn’t do anything extraordinary except to serve and serve and serve some more, to the point that the whole world knew who she was, in spite of the fact that she served in such hidden parts of the world.
Or someone like Jonas Salk, who wasn’t in the trenches touching lives, but who served with his own skill set, applying his knowledge to develop the polio vaccine, which has arguably saved tens of thousands of lives each year.
I say all this to you, my class, because in spite of all the personality differences among us, I saw something special as we moved through this education together. I saw a common theme, where each of us genuinely cared about patients as we attended health fairs, educational seminars, and the like. We were truly touching lives already, and it meant something to us and something to them. This made me proud of who we were as a class, and hopeful about what we can all achieve moving forward.
And for me, that’s the legacy we should strive for. Of making that kind of difference, whatever our skills are, where ever we will focus our work and offer what we can. Mother Theresa, Jonas Salk, or someone unknown around the world, but known and loved in the place he or she serves. That’s what I wish for each of us.
I know that many good speeches include a famous quote or two. But rather than rely on someone else’s thoughts, I’d like to end by sharing 3 simple rules that I imposed on myself. They have helped me throughout my life, and maybe they can be of some use to you as well:
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