ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Titan Voice - Graduate Plans to Pay Forward the Spirit of Excellence

 
Shirley Chikukwa

My father, whom I consider to have been equal parts farmer and philosopher, often took time to reflect, encouraging my siblings and me to think, and then think a little harder.

Adding to his eccentricity, the man never believed in parental controls on any devices: “What you watch is your decision,” he said. “Who you become as a result of it is your responsibility.”

From this, I gleaned two very important lessons: first, to take time to reflect. Second, to see that each day, we are either living with a set of principles in mind, or cobbling together bits and pieces of information to make a patchwork script that will serve as survival. The two are separated by one thing: intention.

Two months ago, when I took the oath of allegiance and became a United States citizen, I committed myself, “freely and without any mental reservation,” to the principles that undergird this nation. But unlike these, the values we commit to today aren’t enumerated. We have to write them, craft them thoughtfully, and commit to living them.

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