Knowing One's Strength
Patrick Leonard G. Co (XS '96), 2006 Medical Board Topnotcher
Posted Tuesday, 31-Oct-2006
Response delivered by Dr. Patrick Leonard G. Co (XS '96) during the alumni recognition rites held last October 23, 2006.
Director Go, Principal Cacacho, Ms. Apolinario, Mr. Delos Reyes, Jesuit Fathers, esteemed members of the faculty and staff, my fellow Xaverians, good morning.
It is truly an honor and privilege for me to have been invited here today. Seeing you all gathered here brings back memories of 10 years ago, when I last stood here as a student. Much has changed since I graduated, yet much remains the same as well. There are many new faces among the faculty and staff, but I recognize some of my former teachers who guided me along the road to becoming who I am today. Many of the new buildings and facilities on campus are quite impressive; I wish they had been built earlier so that I could have had the chance to use them! And most importantly, though the faces of the students have changed over the years, it is heartening to note that the dedication and commitment of the entire Xavier community to grant all of them a quality education is still as strong as ever.
This brings me to the focal point of my talk today. It is your dedication and commitment to your ideals and goals that ultimately plays the biggest role in determining your future. Talent and intelligence are also critical but they alone are not enough to ensure success in your chosen field. An ordinary student can, if his desire to succeed and his drive to make up for his shortcomings is strong enough, perform better than and achieve more than the most gifted prodigy who lacks these same qualities. As St. Luke wrote in his Gospel, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Unfortunately it is also a sad fact of life that these great expectations are often too great for some students to handle. For one reason or another, many never are able to realize their full potential. Certainly, the pressure placed on them to succeed could be a factor, but perhaps more important is the support - or lack thereof - that they receive from their family, friends, and mentors. And this, I feel, is something Xavier continues to do an outstanding job in addressing. Quality education involves much more than merely getting good grades and passing examinations. It involves providing all students with a strong foundation in life by helping them to develop the interpersonal, social and other skills that will enable them to meet all of life’s challenges head-on. Xavier graduates, I feel, are without peer in making the most of what has been given to them. Everyone involved in this effort including the faculty and administrative staff and especially our Jesuit mentors, deserves to be commended.
And so, in closing, I wish to reiterate the importance of knowing yourself, including your strengths and limitations, and believing in your own capabilities. This will prove to be invaluable to you in the coming years. Cherish your remaining months and years in high school together, since your lives and careers usually begin to diverge after graduation. However, all of us shall always share the bond forged by our Xavier education, a bond that calls each of us to be “a man for others”. each in his own special way. Once again, I thank you all for your time, and I hope that I have inspired you in some small way to do your best always. God bless to all of us!
|Men fully alive, endowed with a passion for justice, and the skills for development.|
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