Thanks to everyone! To be candid, I see this opportunity of attending CCA as an way to share my experiences up to this very point in time, with you; and also as a means of personal fulfillment. Words can not express the gratitude that I have for everyone's time and effort, in this first pledge drive. It has been an amazing first month and hopefully I'm offering everyone some insight into what I'm exerting myself for. The point of the "You've Got A Friend In Me Pledge" drives are not simply a means of fund raising, rather I'm looking at the role in which identity plays in both the individual sense and in relation to my community as a whole.
Personally, I remember being taught of the importance of identity, calling and purpose by my parents. Growing up in a blue-collar household in Fairfield County Connecticut, my father a plasterer and my mother an insurance agent, they often explained to me and my two sisters that "identity is important, but knowing who we are is not enough.." How I "needed to act on my identity in order to make a meaningful moral difference in my life as well as the lives of others." What I remember most out of all those years of hearing how best to understand ones true identity, is the last few conversations I had with my father before his death in the autumn of 2007. He continued to question where I was headed with my life, what was the wait on children and marriage, and why I hadn't revisited the artistic talents that he had helped to foster in me as a child? He paused for a moment and said "son, the meaning of life relates to who you are. There will be pretenses inside of you as well as externally, that how life works. Yet, you must not forgot that distinctive spark that I saw in you, as your mother gave birth that allows you to stand before me as a man today..."
My life really took a turn for the great good over the following months, as a strong friendship would begin to flourish with a mentor who has imparted that through to ups and downs of the past seven years of my life indeed:
As the years go by
Our friendship will never die
You're gonna see it's our destiny
You've got a friend in me.