Special Occasion Speech: Eulogy for the Word “Can’t”
Friends, cohorts and underclassmen, lend me your ears. We come to bury the word “can’t” and to praise him. He has joined his cousins “I won’t”, “I don’t” and “I hate” that went before him, not long ago. We have had a lifetime of experiences together, bonded with a sense of intimacy that surpassed all other relationships. He was my accomplice, my best friend, my lover, and my muse.
Can’t is survived by the words ‘I can’, ‘I will’ and ‘I am’. Their presence was often overshadowed by his exuberant and tenacious fervor for existence. Can’t was the best ally a person could have because he was dependable, influential and comforting.
Can’t has touched many lives, he might have touched yours too. I remember how loyal he was, holding my hand when I came to Pierce College to take the Compass test. As I stood in the waiting room, ready to take that test, he faithfully remained at my side whispering his sweet nothings. He was entrancing and hypnotizing me in ways that only he could do. I remember my heart racing as I began to sweat, then he whispered more of his contentions dizzying me with his spell and enchantments.
This spell is the influence that I know I, alone, cannot claim was unique to me. He was an expert in this because it was his profession, his artistry. He has shared his talents selflessly with a worldwide impact as several continue to echo his flair in prose. His influence can often be heard in common household conversations. His clout reverberates in classes and school halls. His ambition is reflected in accordance where we work and where we play. Can’t has even been a fashion in politics, news and social media touted as the latest best conformity. He was not prejudiced or bigoted, and dare I say, all-inclusive. In fact, he was probably one of the first few to cross the bias of economics, fame, religion, race, culture, gender and sexual preference. He was always like a mist in the horizon on a crisp autumn morning, eager to blanket anyone ambitious enough to accept him with open arms as they would sink into the pleasure of his embrace.
There were days, weeks, months and sometimes years, where he would voluntarily envelop any willing person with the luxury of his presence. Many of us nestled, comfortably, as we felt a shroud of protection with his association in teams and community. For some of us, he helped us build walls and moats of protection that offered a sense of security and constant. He was like an invisible force, at times, as his magnetism attracted us like bees to honey. For many of us, he was gracious and generous with his time. It was easy to dwell in his company that felt like an old familiar blanket on a cold winter morning comforting us with reason to continue to bask in his warmth permitting us to slumber and hibernate. “It’s okay”, he would whisper, “This is where you need to be.”
Now it is time to lay “can’t” to rest and bid farewell to our familiar friend. He has offered many lessons learned about reliability, prominence, and solace. It is time to look to his survivors ‘I can’, ‘I will’ and ‘I am’ as we all begin the path of reformation and restoration with an existence without his charisma. His many accomplishments should never be forgotten. Hold on to those memories of him, if you dare, and pass his story forward as we continue to carry on.
If you would all please join me in a moment of tribute to the word “can’t”—May “can’t” forever rest in peace as we adventure onward with “I can”, “I will” and “I am”.