|Alison, Ross, Catherine (1991)|
Two colleges on opposite ends of the country held graduation ceremonies on Father's Day, Stanford University and Union College. Wonderful speeches at both of them inspired me to write these reflections, as I try to make sense of putting together my memories of Ross.
From the speech to Stanford economics graduates, this message resonated:
"The people in your life are more important than the stuff."
Too many economists don't seem to get this. (I will refrain from the temptation to name names, but sorely tempted to say snarkily, "I'm looking at you, [names redacted].") Such economists focus too much on "stuff" and not enough on people, on the magic and joy and beauty of human interactions.
But, as the Stanford speech notes, some economists *do* get this. Ross got this. He did have a fondness for "stuff", and certainly enjoyed his "adventures in retailing" in search of stuff, but the bottom line was clear: people trump stuff. I think the experience of losing his own father at such a young age ensured that Ross--unlike many economists--would always understand that indeed, "The people in your life are more important than the stuff."
He loved spending time with us--laughing, talking, hugging, singing, having adventures together, reading aloud together, going on walks in the sunshine or rain together, just being together was magic. The memories are sad but wonderful, and it was wondrous having both girls here this weekend sharing those memories.
It is all too easy to get caught up in caring about "stuff" (and I will admit I am guilty of this myself at times) but people are indeed far more important.