I love Bill Watterson, the comic strip writer from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. His Calvin and Hobbes, named after John Calvin, a 16th-century French Reformation theologian, and Thomas Hobbes, a 17th-century English political philosopher, delighted me for many years. Almost each one of his Calvin and Hobbes strips is pure gold, but the one that resonates the most with me is one in which a dirty Calvin is neck deep in a hole digging for treasure. Hobbes approaches him and inquires why he is digging a hole, and Calvin joyfully responds, “I’m looking for buried treasure!” When Hobbes asks what he has found, Calvin shares the list: “A few dirty rocks, a weird root, and some disgusting grubs.” To which Hobbes responds, “On your first try??” And with tremendous joy, Calvin rejoins, “There’s treasure everywhere!”
In our lives, wherever we are, there is treasure. It is our responsibility to find it, to unearth it, to believe that it exists. In my short time at Compass, I saw so much treasure. It wasn’t so much that treasure was in the buildings; rather, the treasure was in the children and their potential. Treasure exists everywhere, and if we have the pioneer spirit, the treasurer-hunter mindset, then we will see it and delight in it.
Something else that delights me are the words from the Athenian Oath. The youth of Athens, before they became young men, took the Ephebic Oath: “We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City’s laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
It is all our responsibility, always, to transmit our community not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.” I hope that I have done that, and, I am confident that I have, for I have had occasion to assist you, children, in being your best selves.