Reflecting — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

Like many Arizonans, I watched the memorials and listened to numerous tributes to Arizona Senator John McCain. It was emotional to watch his family and hear the stories of his life told by his closest friends.

I was especially moved by the words of former Vice President, Joe Biden:

“John understood that America was first and foremost, an idea. Audacious and risky, organized around not tribe but ideals…Look, I’ve been thinking this week about why John’s death hit the country so hard. Yes, he was a long serving senator with a remarkable record. Yes, he was a two-time presidential candidate who captured the support and imagination of the American people, and yes, John was a war hero, demonstrated extraordinary courage…Everybody knows that about John. But I don’t think it fully explains why the country has been so taken by John’s passing. I think it’s something more intangible.”

“I think it’s because they knew John believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of America. He made it easier for them to have confidence and faith in America. His faith in the core values of this nation made the somehow feel it more genuinely themselves. His conviction that we, as a country, would never walk away from the sacrifice generations of Americans have made to defend liberty and freedom and dignity around the world. It made average Americans proud of themselves and their country. His belief, and it was deep, that Americans can do anything, withstand anything, and achieve anything. It was unflagging and ultimately reassuring…I just think he gave Americans confidence.”

I found Biden’s words, combined with dignity and solemnity of the ceremony, to be inspirational. As we face the challenges of a new semester, let us take the opportunity to reflect on all that has been and is good about America. Let us commit to applying ourselves to doing our best. Finally, let us embrace the “can do” attitude that is our history, our present and our future.


Joyce Donahue is a Career Counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She is a Certified Career Counselor.