Words to inspire in Student Affairs.

I have certain words that have come to represent and inspire me. You have probably heard of a few in my Tattoo Philosophy post. However, I have recently gotten a new phone which has of course led me to rethink the words that inspire me as I search for usable and appropriate wallpapers. I would like to share a few that I think also have excellent application to the Student Affairs Profession.

The first I hope you recognize:

“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

These are the final two lines of William Ernest Henley’s Invictus. This poem was one Nelson Mandela recognized as important to him during his imprisonment.

The next will perhaps sound familiar as well:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

From the ever popular Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known by the monicker Dr. Seuss. From the book Oh the Places You’ll Go! we get this line. It is a popular story to be given to new graduates meant to inspire and encourage them.

Both of these lines I really like because they say to me that I am in control. Maybe you view that as naive, but it is something that encourages me and these two lines I find to be beautiful representations of it. The reason I suggest these for SA professionals is because so often we get caught up in the system, the politics, the media pressure, and everything else. It is not uncommon to feel that we are not the ones in control, lost forever. Just remember that we are, in fact, a voice of reason and for some of our students we are the difference between success and failure.

Let’s see who the true fans are with the next one:

“Demons run when a good man goes to war”

If you guessed Steven Moffat, you are correct. This line comes from the popular BBC Show, Doctor Who. I include this line because we in student affairs are tasked with challenging and supporting. We are a voice of reason or the devil’s advocate. But there are times where that simply does not work. Sometimes we have to go to war…whatever that means for you.

One other line that fits in with this one:

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

That one comes from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This was a well read, well spoken man who understood the challenges the world was facing and is still facing. He knew the importance of saying something. This isn’t always easy or even comended…

The final piece I want to add is the one from the picture at the very top of this photo.

“We’re all mad here”

is from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The cheshire cat said it (he was always my favorite from the actual book). This one I love simply because we’re all mad, I feel. Particularly those of us working in Student Affairs.


About rigsurfer

A Brother of Delta Upsilon International Fraternity, Inc., Joined in Fall 2010. Completed a B.A. in English at North Carolina State University in 2013 and received a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at Texas Tech University in 2015. Passionate about Leadership and Diversity as well as Ducks, Scooby Doo, and reading.
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