The other day I was chatting with our Head Coach Michael Balchan and he mentioned Kennedy’s quote about a tree taking decades to reach maturity; therefore, we should plant it NOW!
I knew I wanted to do a +1 on it, so this morning I Googled “Kennedy Quote Tree.”
I found the quote. Then I found the original source of that quote.
According to the JFK Library, on March 23, 1962, while serving as the 35th President of the United States, Kennedy gave the commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley.
He talked about the importance of education in the broader context of a healthy society, telling us: “‘Knowledge is the great sun of the firmament,’ said Senator Daniel Webster. ‘Life and power are scattered with all its beams.'”
Then: “In its light we must think and act not only for the moment but for our time. I am reminded of the story of the great French Marshal Lyautey, who once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshal replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.'”
Kennedy wrapped up his speech by saying: “Today a world of knowledge—a world of cooperation—a just and lasting peace—may be years away. But we have no time to lose. Let us plant our trees this afternoon.”
(For curious souls, you can watch a video of that speech here.)
It may take us years and even decades to see the change we want to see in our own lives let alone in the world.
But we have no time to lose.
Let us plant our trees.