By Mike Wilcox
The following comes from a Wall Street Journal article that quotes Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts addressing a ninth-grade commencement in spring 2017.
Roberts said most speakers would wish their audience nothing but good in the future, but he would not do so. The reasons he gave are worth sharing as we embark upon 2019.
“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so you will come to know the value of justice.
“I hope that you will suffer betrayal, because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.
“Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.
“I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life, and understand your success is not completely deserved and the failure of others is not completely deserved either.
“And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.
“I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.
“Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”
Never has the spoken word been so real. Roberts provides life’s most important lessons in a 200-word summary. As we take on life’s trials and tribulations in 2019, we need to occasionally hearken back to his words occasionally. I think it will help us to be better people.
I offer a hearty thanks to all who contributed to the Christmas Wish Program again in some of my newspapers. Each year, thanks to business and individual contributions, we help more and more disadvantaged families enjoy the holiday season. The program handed out more than $10,000 and a boatload of toys, clothing and other essentials to dozens of families.
Although experts tell us our economy is on the upswing, the sheer numbers of letters we receive would indicate differently. It is heartbreaking to read the many personal letters of tragedy that were received. As we sit in our cozy chairs in our big houses with a new car or two in the garage, I ask you to remember the people who aren’t so fortunate.
Yes, we all gave a lot during the holidays, but depression and homelessness are year-around problems. We need to give in June like we do in December. Our neighbors, sometimes our friends, need our help. Let’s not forget them.
With that note, I wish all of you reading this a happy and prosperous new year.