May I just start off by saying to all of you here that I am so excited to spend my last year here at The Haverford School with this exact group of students and teachers. I hope all of you feel the same way about the people around you. I am certain that we can help this school grow exponentially in the next nine months, whether we grow in strength of character or something else. This is a year for Haverford as it always is, and we can make it if we work hard to sort some things out and really learn what it means to be a Ford. We'll need to start the year off strong, and finish it even stronger.
To be a Ford, I think, means to take part in something that you help to make much bigger than yourself. There are other schools in this area where you can get a great education, but I doubt the camaraderie is as tightly knit as it is here. Not everyone is cut out for this school, this community. When I came to Haverford my sophomore year, I wasn't sure what would become of me as a young man.
I'm 18 years old now, and I have never grown more in two years than in the last two years. I am so happy with who I am. It's far surpassed contentment; at this point, I wake up every morning proud to be Evan Scott. All of you here deserve to feel the same way. If that is the only thing I accomplish in the next year as your president, I'll be happy. If, somehow, I can help all of you love yourselves, be proud of your own selves, I'll be happy. And that there, that feeling of self-love, beyond self-acceptance, is what will make us a true brotherhood.
We hear this word a lot, brotherhood, and like other meaningful words, the more it is used, the less it tends to mean; but I can assure you, to this school, its meaning is all important. But how do we define it? What is important about the brotherhood we so rightfully call ourselves? And to be honest, these questions occupied my attention during the summer a lot. And I never came to a conclusion. Stop me if I'm wrong here, but if you ask me, that means we can determine for ourselves what brotherhood means. And I think that is a pretty important concept.
I'm glad I have a couple minutes in front of everyone in the school because we cannot exist as one community without every beating heart in this room on board. We need first to start with ourselves. We all need to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and like what we see.
Haverford is a feel-good school. In these halls exists energy that I haven't come across anywhere else. I feel good about myself as a person, as a soul, when I walk these staircases and traverse these grounds. This school hears our calls and answers them; it picks us up and dusts us off and helps us back on our feet.
Sure, we can work on our body image and have the six packs and the big arm muscles and have chiseled jaws and perfect hairlines. But to me that is not always the image of contentment. The vast majority of the people who work so hard to look good have trouble with feeling good. Haverford is a feel-good school. In these halls exists energy that I haven't come across anywhere else. I feel good about myself as a person, as a soul, when I walk these staircases and traverse these grounds. This school hears our calls and answers them; it picks us up and dusts us off and helps us back on our feet. Use this school to your advantage because after doing so you won't be able to get enough of yourselves.
Life Hack #820 reads: "There is only one person you spend your whole life with, and that is yourself. If you aren't okay with you, there is an issue," and although this has nothing to do with hacking life, I believe there is some real truth to this quote. You've got the rest of your life with yourself, so I say begin to love yourself while you're here. There will never be an easier time to do it.
My dad is one of eight kids. He's the youngest, and he has five older brothers. They grew up in a small house in a big city, and have stayed best friends for 45 years, living all across the country. If I were to ask him what a brotherhood felt like, he'd talk about his experiences with his 5 older brothers, and I have a feeling we'll be able to draw some parallels there. The first thing my father would talk about is the ability to make yourself vulnerable, and to allow your brothers to be vulnerable in front of you. There is no time for these facades we know so well in this day and age. To be brothers to the core, inside and out, we all need to take off our masks and stare one another in the face.
I want to see you all for who you are, and I believe in doing so we as a community will foster an unbreakable bond with one another. We need for this bond to be so strong, no argument will be serious enough to bust the bond open. No feud large enough to cause the bond to snap. I need all of you to have one another's backs through thick and through thin. And when the times get "thick," don't shy away from one another. Lend shoulders to lean on, backs to be carried on, and hands to be pulled back up by.
I need all of you to have one another's backs through thick and through thin. And when the times get 'thick,' don't shy away from one another. Lend shoulders to lean on, backs to be carried on, and hands to be pulled back up by.
I need all of you to be honest with one another no matter how serious the stakes seem to be. I promise you that nothing goes a longer way in this world than honesty does. I am a kid, I am insecure, and sure, I have betrayed myself trying to be cool. These little things sometimes are inevitable and in the long run, they may or may not have a significant impact.
But in challenging moments, honesty to ourselves and to one another will always allow us to come out stronger as a whole. Be your brother's keeper, be your brother's brother, and be yourself. Although, look at me up here, with all of this brotherhood talk; I don't even have a biological brother. Raise your hand if you do have a brother. Now I want everyone to raise their hands: each and every one of us has more than nine hundred brothers we can count on to have our backs, let us be vulnerable, and let us be strong when it is their time to be vulnerable. We will win together often, we will lose together not so often, and at the end of the day, we'll be a brotherhood. In the words of Barcelona soccer legend Carles Puyol, "I came here as a boy, I leave here with a family." Thank you.
- The Big Room Blog