These hands have held babies in three different countries, they have been thrust into the snow and the mud, these hands have guided pens and pencils and gave food to the hungry, they have been scraped and cracked but still continue on.
These eyes have seen rain, sun, fog, snow and sleet, they have seen huge cities and tiny villages, these eyes have seen people and seen into them, they have seen a lust for life and a struggle to go on, they have seen pure joy and devastating sorrow.
With these hands and eyes I take a stand. I stand for what I believe is right, those that can't and equality for all. I stand for hope in the future, for loving your neighbor and change.
I stand with my brothers and sisters, all over the world, with those who speak truth, fight for freedom and pray for peace. I stand with those who stand beside me, in front of me, and behind, with men and women who recognize they have a purpose, use their voice, respect those around them and embrace who they are.
I stand on the shoulders of the courageous, the bold and the strong. The shoulders of leaders and followers, teachers and learners, speakers and listeners. I stand on the inspiration of those before me; the perseverance of MLK, the teachings of Gandhi, the compassion of Nelson Mandela, the loyalty of Peter, the sacrifice of Mother Teresa, the drive of Micheal Gallagher.
With these hands and these eyes, in this moment and the next, I will stand and say “ I seek not a long life, but a full one.”