Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Doing Your Best
While I've generally tried to focus most of my acts of kindness outside of my immediate circle of family and good friends, I don't want to miss the opportunity to do nice things there as well. Today I wanted to do a little something to acknowledge the efforts of my daughter Hannah this past semester at William & Mary.
When I was growing up, my brothers and sister and I were expected to get good grades (and we did) and thus great report cards weren't necessarily a cause for celebration. I don't mean to imply that my parents weren't proud of us; it's just that we weren't showered with gifts and money and privileges (like some friends seemed to be) just because we accomplished what we were capable of. And I suppose the same could be said for how we've now raised our own two children.
With all that being said, William & Mary is a pretty demanding school and top grades don't come to Hannah without plenty of hard work and discipline. This semester, she really buckled down and achieved her best grades yet. While I'm proud of her grades, I'm much more proud of the passion she's developed for wanting to do her best. Ultimately, as most of us eventually learn, wanting to do well to satisfy others is a somewhat empty pursuit. When the passion for excellence is internally driven though, and is fueled by a deeply personal commitment to doing our best simply for the sake of it, the satisfaction we feel is so much greater. I'm so proud to see Hannah discovering this lesson for herself and demonstrating her passion for excellence.
Today I wrote Hannah a note explaining why I'm so proud of her and enclosing a small gift card to a local restaurant.