Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick
Archbishop of Washington, D.C., USA
Cardinal Priest of Santi Nereo e Achilleo
Jul 07, 1930
Feb 21, 2001
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English Have Confidence in Others
May 06, 2007
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick is the archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C.

(, May 7, 2007) Among all the words of congratulations that my classmates and I received in the numerous graduations of our lives, we were often told to have confidence in ourselves, to make a difference, to change the world and to be successful. That is always good advice, I guess, but as I look back at it, it usually left out something very important.

I wish we had been told that we must learn to work with other people and to have confidence in them as well.

There seems to be a tendency in graduation speakers—and I am guilty here as well—to concentrate on the individual graduate and his or her role in the world rather than to acknowledge that the vast majority of us are not called to be Lone Rangers but members of a team, a group, a family that can take the contributions of each one of us, be they remarkable or ordinary, and make them something special by joining them with those of others.

I wish more graduation speakers would talk to that essential key of our society. This can be a scary world and a lonely one if we are sent into it alone. It is good to be reminded that there is a great multitude of folks out there who are willing to lend a hand, to give a word of comfort, to show us how.

Of course, the new graduate should not go out into the world thinking that everyone is going to be a partner. A quick reality check reminds us that there are good people and some not so good out there. But in life we also meet many people who are ready to work with us, to help us do the really great things most of us can never do alone, even to start changing the world and making it better. And for believers, most of all, there is a God who loves us and whose grace will truly help us to do things we could never dream of doing by ourselves.
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