December 21, 2009
No matter where you’re from or what you’ve accomplished, there’s something that’s powerfully gratifying about being honored by your alma mater.
On Saturday, the Baylor Alumni Association presented me with the Price Daniel Distinguished Public Service Award. Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock and Governor Ann Richards are among the great Texans who have won this award in the past.
I’m very honored. It means a great deal to me that I’m receiving an award from the Baylor Alumni Association. You folks all understand that, I’m sure. So much of what any one of us has accomplished is a result of what happened here on this campus.
I’m also honored to be joined by a group of people who participate and have participated in any success I’ve enjoyed in public service. With me today, are several members of our Senate office. As pretty as I might think I am from time to time, ego being what it is, I know how much of my success is most clearly tied to my ability to hire some exceptional talent to help me. Thanks to all of you.
Of course, I’m also joined by family. Liz, Preston and Cooper. My mother-in-law Gwen McDaniel is also here. Their importance to me is both obvious and more subtle.
Our home, because of a path I’ve been on for some time now, is proudly and profoundly a house of service. That means it’s a place that, if I’m doing right, invites as many people as I can touch into our lives. Successful service creates a different rhythm to family life.
Our life together is a life of service and I’m pleased that, together, we set high goals and my family has allowed me to exert as much effort as I can to reach out to other people – to other families. We do it as part of our family’s own special rhythm of life. It’s what we’re called as a family to do. And I love and appreciate them sharing this path.
Finally, today is a special day for me to receive this award. I commented that it’s important because so much of what any one of us has accomplished is a result of what happened here at Baylor. I remember very vividly talking to my dad, Don Watson, when I was a freshman here. I wanted advice about “callings” and where drive, ambition, assets and strengths should take me or where weaknesses might limit me. He helped me. His lesson came out of Romans 12, beginning at verse 6.
Paul explained, “God has given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.”
Daddy died 12 years ago yesterday. He saw me in elective office for only about 6 months. But he and my mother, who were so proud that my brother and I graduated from Baylor University, would be pleased by this recognition.
As I receive this recognition today, I promise that I’ll recommit to meeting my father’s admonition and that of Paul in his letter to the Romans.
God bless you and thank you.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.