Education, money, family and career are all significant parts of life – we are all balancing these in our lives. Dr. Aamir A. Rehman, Chair at Innate Capital and Senior Fellow at Columbia Business School, concluded his commencement speech at Mercer County Community College by explaining to young graduates how to manage the multifaceted lives we all live. It was a piece of advice Rehman received from a professor a long time ago that he went on to share with the crowd.
How does one juggle? What probably comes to mind when asked this question is a street performer juggling bowling pins or oranges with a stretched smile across their face. But what we don’t realize is that we are all jugglers.
In life, each of us, is balancing numerous roles and responsibilities: family, work, education, hobbies, volunteering, etc. It’s a juggling act, and the challenge is to keep all the balls in the air and not let any of them drop. “But it’s also important to remember that these balls that you are juggling are made from different materials. Some of them are made of rubber: like your job, your car, or that promotion you’ve been aiming for. You don’t want to drop those balls, but if you do, they bounce back. Not as high as they were before, but they do bounce back. And eventually you can bring them back to where they were.”
“Other aspects of life – your integrity, your values, your family, and often your health – are balls made of glass. If you drop them, they shatter. And there’s a good chance you might never put them back together.”
Rehman wished all the students much success in juggling the various roles and responsibilities of life. More importantly though, he wished them “discernment in knowing what matters most and in protecting what is most precious.”
When concluding his speech, Dr. Rehman noted “Today is not the end of a book, but rather the end of a chapter”. Dr. Rehman noted that community colleges exist to be partners in lifelong learning. He thanked the graduates for bringing life to the Mercer campus: “Learning is a lifelong journey. We proudly cheer you on and look forward to seeing you down the road.”