I recently moved away from my home state and into a big city, and it wasn’t until then that I realized the value of presence. Of course, I’ve been present my entire life. I was present for roll-call all 13 years of my primary schooling. I am present at work every day. I am present at almost every obligation that comes my way. I understand what being present means, but I have never understood its value.
We’ve been told we must go places, but never told why. We can’t skip the family function simply because it’s family, but what does our presence really contribute? And it wasn’t until here, in the middle of Boston, did I understand the value of not only my own presence, but of other’s around me as well. It isn’t until you see the same person in a city of millions, that you understand the comfort of knowing one’s face. It isn’t until you sit next to the same person on the train every day, that you realize you worry when they’re gone.
It wasn't until recently that I realizes that simply being present sometimes is enough.
We get so caught up in finishing out goals and meeting our obligations that we do not understand that being present in life is beneficial to others. We work to achieve perfection, we work to achieve the next goal, we work at so much, and we never take a second to thank each other for simply being there. So this is my thank you.
Thank you to the man who stands on the corner of Longwood Ave selling Spare Change newspapers every day. Thank you to the crossing guard who always says hello to every person that passes his way. Thank you to the puppy who I adore to watch play at the park every morning. Thank you to the train conductor I see driving me home every night. Thank you to the security guard who does not ask to see my badge anymore. Thank you to the gentleman who sells me beer, and the woman who sells me groceries. Your presence means something to me.
We all get caught up in our circles of people. We talk to the same coworkers, friends, and family daily. We thank those who know us best for always being there, but we never thank those whose names we may not know but who are also always there. We get lost in our habits and we don’t recognize that these everyday people who makeour habits. So I want to thank all of the people who are present every day, those I may not know but care ever so much about. I want you to know that your presence means something to me.
And to all of you reading this today, your presence is valuable to me too. Your presence is valuable to all of those who surround you, in the smallest and biggest of ways. So be present today, be valuable today.