“The more experience one has in the world and the more he studies and comes in contact with those about him the more he learns that the people who live the happiest lives in the world are those who are continually striving, whether seen or unseen, to make the world happy or better by the opportunity given them for having lived in it.”
-Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, Alabama [Feb. 8, 1891]
Presidential Commentary by Dr. Brian Johnson
Consider our first principal and president’s emphasis upon the happiness of those who are “continually striving, whether seen or UNSEEN [emphasis mine].” While each of us-whether administrator, staff member or student-take great joy in formally serving ‘on stage’ before supervisors, peers/colleagues and/or students, Washington beckons us to consider a secondary question: Does happiness attached to our service proceed simply from external approbation or from our own personal sense of excellence, integrity and satisfaction in serving others-namely our common institutional cause? If the latter, we will be driven to perform on-stage or off; Moreover, we will collectively never have to ‘get ready’ because we are ‘always ready’-‘whether seen or unseen.’
Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.
7th President, Tuskegee University