"Soldiers are needed for the battle . . . "
The direction this nation will take depends largely upon your response and your willingness to become involved and take an active role in the restructuring and transformation of this society. Without your active participation, little will be accomplished, and the steady erosion that has begun will continue. . . .
Soldiers are needed for the battle. Too many, however, are choosing not to enter the fray; too many are choosing to remain civilians, standing on the sidelines waiting for others to carry the banner and achieve the victory. And even among those willing to fight, too many are enlisting in the reserves, where they fight the battle only during their spare moments or when time permits. If the enemy is to be confronted and if victory is to be achieved, we must all participate in the battle, but more than a few of us have to volunteer to fight full time and not one of us can afford to stand idly by, watching, complaining, and lamenting. . . .
Even so, in taking up the challenge and promoting a cause, there is a great internal reward and satisfaction that will come not from publicity, from fame, from fortune, but from knowing that through our efforts peoples' lives are being changed; and that due to our work, the world, for a few, is becoming a more palatable place in which to live. No greater joy exists than this-to make a solid, definite contribution to the lives of our fellow man.
Will you enlist? Are you one of the ones called to engage in the struggle and fight the battle for this nation's future?
--James B. O'Neal '77Ox-'79C, from his 1992 Oxford College Commencement address
Photo by Ann Borden
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