||Senator Tom Harkin's 2013 commencement address last month delighted his listeners with humor, wisdom, and a deep appreciation for Maharishi University of Management.
He began by quipping, "I realize I was probably selected to be your speaker today because Oprah wasn't available." He then expressed his deep appreciation for MUM's approach to education.
"I do want you to know of my highest respect and admiration that I have for this university, for what you have done, what you have become here in Iowa, the nation, and the world, and especially for what I consider to be the best holistic approach to education and wellness in life at any university anywhere on the globe," he said.
Then he moved to the heart of his talk — Senator Harkin's 10 rules for living. He began with rule number 10: Don't panic, you'll find a job. And he reassured the graduates that their MUM education had prepared them well: "My confidence is based on one thing — because you came to the right school. I have nothing, as I said, but admiration for what this university has accomplished in such a short period of time. In a unique way you have put the 'higher' in higher education."
Reassuring graduating students that their practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique is also important to their professional success, he said, "At this university, education is also about training, focusing, freeing the mind. It's about raising consciousness. Here you have been beautifully prepared intellectually and spiritually for all the challenges you will face in the world out there, so you should go forth with confidence."
As rule number one, he urged graduates to be part of something larger than themselves, emphasizing the importance of contributing to their community. He said an important part of that was knowing who they are, with the Transcendental Meditation technique helping to achieve this.
"Most of the people who I have known who have been both successful and happy are those who know themselves — who they are," he said. "This university has taught you to have the mental strength to transcend the vicissitudes of life, to know yourself. It prepared you well for that outward journey."
And in a short postscript, he returned to the microphone to give a sign that he explained meant "I love you" in sign language.