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Edward P. Kinsey Commencement Address at Lourdes College May 2009

Edward P. Kinsey Commencement Address at Lourdes College May 2009

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Published by Edward P. Kinsey
The text of a commencement address delivered by Edward P. Kinsey II at Lourdes College on May 16, 2009 to the Lourdes College Class of 2009.
The text of a commencement address delivered by Edward P. Kinsey II at Lourdes College on May 16, 2009 to the Lourdes College Class of 2009.

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Published by: Edward P. Kinsey on Jun 09, 2009
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03/16/2013

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Edward P. Kinsey, IILourdes CollegeCommencement Address
May 16, 2009, SeaGate Center, Toledo, Ohio
President Hellmer, Members of the Board of Trustees, Members of the Faculty, proudparents, grandparents, spouses, friends and, above all, graduates. I thank you for thehonor of being invited to be a part of the 51st commencement of Lourdes College.Graduates, as I’ve been briefed by President Hellmer and Sister La Point about thecollective accomplishments of the Class of 2009, and particularly the hurdles that someof you have overcome, I’m humbled to be here with you on a day that marks your greataccomplishments. You have all demonstrated great leadership in your paths tograduation.Over the years, as I’ve come to know various people in the Lourdes community, I’vebeen particularly impressed with the programs that Lourdes offers for people affected bylearning disabilities. This is an area that is very near and dear to my heart for a number of reasons, as you’ll understand from my comments. I’ve had the opportunity to seemany learning disability programs in various high schools and a few universities inCalifornia. In comparison, Lourdes is one of the best programs that I’ve observed.Those of you who have used this resource know how much it’s helped you.Today, I want to talk about simple elements that are at the base of success in life;
1.
Determination
2.
Choice
3.
FaithThese are things that I’ve found from my life experiences and observations to beimportant.Just three simple things; that’s it.
COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS - MAY 16, 2009
BY; EDWARD P. KINSEY
PAGE 1 OF 14
©
COPYRIGHT 2009 EDWARD P. KINSEY !!, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 
Determination
Henry Van Dyke may have described determination best when he said; “Some succeedbecause they are destined but most succeed because they are determined”.More than anything, determination has defined the way that I’ve lived life. In mybusiness career I discovered that I seemed to be more focused on achieving the endresult of what I was engaged in than most people around me and I developed apersonal mantra; if I can’t outthink ‘em, I can always out work ‘em...In a more general sense what that meant to me is I should believe in my dreams and inmyself and that no matter how many challenges that I face, I should never, never giveup.My first lesson in determination came from an experience in high school. It was a crispclear fall day in October 1973. I was a senior at Clay High School on the east side of Toledo. I made an appointment to see my high school counselor, who I’ll call “Mr.Smith”. As a senior, one of Mr. Smith’s jobs was to counsel me about collegeadmission. I’ll never forget the meeting. I sat in Mr. Smith’s office and discussed mydesire to attend college and my unfamiliarity with the process. I mentioned my interestin specific schools and that I wanted to study business. I talked for a long time aboutmy dreams and my goals.When I was finished talking Mr. Smith sat back in his chair and remained silent for along time. He stared at me with no expression. And then he leaned forward and toldme that “I was not college material and would not get accepted, let alone graduate fromany college”Then he said nothing.I was shocked. College was always in my plans. In an instant, my world had beenchanged and my confidence had been shattered.What I didn’t know at the time, but learned as I watched my oldest daughter Katieadvance through elementary school and into high school and college, was that I wasvisual learner. My mind learned things best using images, graphics and visualizationsto organize information and communicate with others. I was one of the 25% of maleswho have what we call today “learning disabilities”.At the time that I was in elementary school and high school the school systems didn’thave the understanding and knowledge that they have today. Learning disabilityaccommodations didn’t exist. You were either “smart” or...well, “not smart”. Those withless than perfect grades were directed to vocational programs. As a visual learner Iwasn’t structured to learn using the teaching methods that were being used and, as a“C” average student I didn’t qualify as one of the “smart” ones. I certainly didn’t garner the confidence or support of Mr. Smith.When you look back over time, my situation enjoyed good company; Albert Einstein,Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, WaltDisney and George Washington all had learning disabilities. Even today, in my industry;
COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS - MAY 16, 2009
BY; EDWARD P. KINSEY
PAGE 2 OF 14
©
COPYRIGHT 2009 EDWARD P. KINSEY !!, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 
technology, leaders like Cisco CEO John Chambers and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison hadlearning disabilities. Apple Computer founder and CEO Steve Jobs was a visuallearner. It’s one of the reasons why he is such as great product visionary and a master at user interface design.Albert Einstein was no “Einstein” as a youth. He had language impairments and histeachers recommended that he attend trade school. His parents didn’t listen and hewas moved to a school that de-emphasized rote memorization and focused more oncreative thinking and hands-on learning. The school that Einstein attended was one of the first to understand that everyone is intelligent but that there are different learningstyles. Each learning style captures information in different ways but all result in anintelligent mind filled with knowledge.Every time I think of that meeting with Mr. Smith I wonder how many times in a day, thenand now, that students are made to feel less than what they are because schools andteachers don’t understand the situation. It takes their confidence away.Imagine if Einstein had listened to his teachers!I didn’t listen to Mr. Smith.How dare any Mr. Smith in the world tell anyone what they are capable of achieving. Itwould just be their opinion and nothing else.I can’t predict how much success that each of you will have in your careers and your lives but I can absolutely guarantee you that you’re going to experience people tellingyou what you can’t do. You’ll each have your own “Mr. Smith’s”. You can’t control whatpeople think about you or how they evaluate or judge you; but you can control whatYOU do about it or how YOU react to it.When you do encounter Mr. Smiths you have a simple choice really; do you believethem or do you ignore them?I say ignore them!Each of us knows our drive and determination better than anyone else. We know howmuch we’re willing to dedicate to what we want to achieve. If your determinationoverpowers you, you’ll develop a fondness for taking on a project, task or mission that’s“impossible”. Before anything has been invented, developed or organized it waspreviously not possible.For me, a great example of this fact is the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk. When he firstflew, Wilbur Wright didn’t have a pilots license. If Wilbur had listened to his “Mr. Smith”,I would have traveled to Toledo on horseback.Ignore them who tell you that you can’t. Understand that as someone who can visualizesomething that hasn’t been achieved before; you are gifted. Focus your mind and your efforts on the determined accomplishment of all that you know you can achieve anddon’t waste one minute thinking about those who tell you that you can’t. Trivialize them.Muhammad Ali once said; “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20has wasted 30 years of his life”. I’m 51 and I can tell you that you will view things
COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS - MAY 16, 2009
BY; EDWARD P. KINSEY
PAGE 3 OF 14
©
COPYRIGHT 2009 EDWARD P. KINSEY !!, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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