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Subj: FCNL INFOLINE (5/31/02): ED SNYDER COMMENCEMENT SPEECH
Date: 05/31/2002 2:32:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
FCNL INFO LINE
May 31, 2002
(To learn more about the FCNL INFO LINE, please see the end of this
Edward F. Snyder, Executive Secretary Emeritus of FCNL, was awarded an
honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Haverford College commencement in May.
Ed was awarded the degree, in part, as a result of his extensive work with
FCNL. Following is the text of the remarks that Ed made in accepting the
Ed's comments are, appropriately, addressed to the graduates. We at FCNL
would like to encourage these graduates and all young adults to become
involved with FCNL. For more information on our young adult program, please
Remarks by Edward F. Snyder at the Haverford College commencement, May 2002
When I sought some advice for this occasion, it was suggested that the most
important thing was not to follow Bill Cosby. The luck of alphabetical
order decided otherwise. But that enables me to join you in saying Amen to
a wonderful message.
I accept this honor, in large part as a tribute to my colleagues at the
Friends Committee on National Legislation - many with Haverford connections
- who have been my counselors and guides over the years.
My hope and prayer for you members of the graduating class is that you will
find careers that are consistent with your core beliefs and deepest
aspirations. Such work may not make you rich, but I would hope it would at
least keep the wolf from your door.
I hope you will find a supportive community in which you can share laughter,
sorrow, personal growth; and joy in the struggle. One where you can test
your leadings. One that will give you the wisdom and courage to follow
Clearly our times call for a revolution in thinking and acting if we are to
build a future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren that is
worthy of the best aspects of human nature, not the worst.
That future can be free of war and the threat of war, where every person's
potential can be fulfilled, and our beautiful planet will be protected and
It is my distinct impression that many people are already living in this
world, as they want it to be.
They seek internships in organizations like the FCNL and other groups that
are challenging popular values.
They volunteer in environmental, social service, human rights, peace and
economic justice groups.
As educators, parents, and mentors they are helping the next generation to
understand the desperate plight we are in on this planet, at this time in
human history. But they are also giving us hope - we must keep hope alive -
and showing us how to work for constructive change.
These people are part of a large and growing group, which is subverting the
popular culture. And this is probably one reason this movement is largely
unreported by the mass media.
I suspect that many of you are already part of that growing movement.
But, sooner or later, you may decide - and I hope you will - that setting a
good example by your personal life and your individual choices is not
I hope that you will decide you also need to enter into the public arena -
the marketplace of ideas - where crucial public policy decisions are being
I hope you will reject the cynics who tell you this arena is boring or
corrupt or not worth your time. They want to keep you from getting involved
in politics. They want to keep it a private preserve for moneyed interests
controlled by high-powered lobbyists, campaign contributions, and
sophisticated advertising campaigns.
Politics is an essential profession in a democracy. Yes, it involves messy
compromises and unsatisfactory choices. But it is the best process yet
devised for making those crucial day-to-day decisions that determine the
future of our nation and the planet. Yes, many more people must
participate through voting and otherwise. One way to give people a greater
stake in decision-making is to adopt public financing of campaigns and some
form of proportional representation.
I hope I'm looking out at dozens of you who are future city council members,
mayors, state legislators - perhaps members of Congress, and more.
Finally, never underestimate the influence you can have lobbying as a
concerned private citizen. Since so few people actually participate in
public policy making, you have an influence far out of proportion to your
numbers in society.
Don't try to cover the waterfront. Prioritize. Pick subjects that interest
you. Speak from personal experience. I guarantee that if you do your
homework you will know more about that subject than most representatives and
senators in Washington. And with term limited, inexperienced state
legislators and local governing bodies you can be the local expert.
Congratulations, Good luck, and God bless you!
If you have comments or questions regarding this message or other issues,
please contact FCNL.
Mail: 245 Second St, NE, Washington, DC 20002-5795
Phone: (202) 547-6000
Fax: (202) 547-6019
Toll Free800) 630-1330
Your contributions sustain our Quaker witness in Washington. We welcome
your gifts to FCNL, or, if you need a tax deduction, to the FCNL Education
Fund. You can use your credit card to donate money securely to FCNL through
a special page on FCNL's web site.
FCNL also accepts credit card donations over the phone. For information
about donating, please contact the Development team directly at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
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We seek a world free of war and the threat of war
We seek a society with equity and justice for all
We seek a community where every person's potential may be fulfilled
We seek an earth restored...