O God of Light and Universal Truth!
Thou patient Guide and Friend of Joyous Youth
Before Thee now we humbly stand and pray
To guard our steps and rule our lives always.
Grant us to do our daily task with zeal,
May all our work a common service seal,
From base design, from selfish aim set free
Mould Thou our lives, O Lord, in loyalty.
Give strength to tread the rugged path of Right,
To falter not, but wage a noble fight,
To know a friend, to live the words "Aim High,"
To play the man, and fearlessly to die.
Cranbrook! Whose sculptured stone and iron shaft
Bespeaks the skillful hand of every craft,
One perfect Unity shall ever stand
To bless the purpose of a generous hand.
Cranbrook! Thy name a glowing symbol live!
To future sons an inspiration give.
Tho’ eyes grow dim, tho' strength be past, yet we
Till life is done shall ever cherish Thee. Amen.
"Being an operative for the greater good is rarely fun or easy, but it is gratifying....Where we draw the line is both personal and circumstantial, but I beg you give your life some reflection....We cannot be blamed for the things we cannot control, but that does not excuse us for not taking control of the things we can."
Writing for Time, Joel Klein well details a much better response than Romney's forgetful non-denial:
He could have said, “You know, I’ve been troubled by the Cranbrook episode for most of my life, and I feel relieved, in a way, that it’s come out now. I did a really stupid and terrible thing. Teenage boys sometimes do such things and deserve to be punished for them. What I most regret is that I never apologized to John and won’t be able to now that he’s gone, but let me apologize to his family and friends. Bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances. It is especially unacceptable when prejudice — against one’s race, ethnicity or sexual orientation — is involved. If elected President, I will try to atone for my teenage behavior by campaigning against bullying all across this country. What I did back then should be an example of how not to behave. I hope we can all learn from this. I know I have.”No stranger to reporting questions of political scandal and personal character, Mr. Klein's free advice to Mr. Romney is spot-on. Presidential candidates are held to a higher standard. They cannot so easily sweep childish indiscretions under the proverbial rug. They cannot shirk off so quickly their responsibilities to demonstrate a higher standard. Mr. Romney ought to reflect ever so deeply upon young Mr. Levin's seemingly prophetic admonition: "I beg you give your life some reflection....We cannot be blamed for the things we cannot control, but that does not excuse us for not taking control of the things we can."
Our alma mater calls out, Mr. Romney:
"Play the man," we beg of Mr. Romney. And we further ask that he consider, that he heed the 2007 commencement words ABC's Bob Woodruff, whose good works and heroic recovery from his the critical injuries he sustained during his coverage of the Iraq War in 2006 place him high among the best of Cranbrook's alumni:
"All those years ago, I wondered what is that aim high statue on campus....It's not about the hardness of the arrow or the strength of the bow. It's the place and the target you decide to shoot at.... It is in your ultimate impact and victory. So, aim high my friends.""Aim high!" This is the essence of a Cranbrook education.
Many of us may have wasted the Cranbrook experience. We might not have fully appreciated the dedication of the faculty, staff, and our fellow students. But, few among us assaulted others. And, it is doubtful we can find more than a handful fellow alumni who were not touched powerfully by our experience of Cranbrook and not challenged by its motto to "Aim high."
Mr. Romney's youthful indiscretions may have taunted, may have haunted, other students for life. But, Mr. Romney also besmirched the good name of Cranbrook.
Mr. Romney not only owes apologies to the late Mr. Lauber and his family, he also owes reflection and amends to the others he hurt as a student and to Cranbrook—and its alumni. He ought "Aim high" and take the lead in efforts to end bullying, as suggested by Mr. Klein of Time.
The world is watching.