Friday, February 20, 2009


i gave this talk at the Harvard Memorial Church today at my fathers funeral. It was well received.

I disagree with people for a living. My father was one of the most agreeable people you ever met. And yet it was from him that I learned, if you wanted to be in the conversation, you need to listen deeply and to be able to reflect back what someone else truly believes.

I break the law as part of my work. My father was the most law-abiding man I ever met. And it was from him I learned that you need to have an unwavering moral compass, so that whoever meets you knows what you believe in.

My father built highly functional schools and elegant houses. I stop the construction of inherently dangerous and unnecessary nuclear reactors. It is from him I learned that my role is to serve in the building of a better world.

My father’s father was a large man named “Tiny”. He died when my father was a boy and I believe this helped make my father a careful and cautious man. I was fortunate to have a dedicated and supportive father for 5 decades and I am convinced this security helped make me comfortable taking chances.

When I get up in the morning and look in the mirror before days which tend to be busy and long, as my fathers were, I sometimes see the mirror image of the man, who despite being different, was one of my most important teachers.

1 comment:

Kelpie Oaks said...

Thanks for the picture -- I've seen that expression on your face, too.