“We are all born originals, but most of us leave as copies.  Stand up for the truth of who you are.”

I was dashing around the graduation bleachers photographing my cousin’s graduation from Williams College when I heard these words.  Earlier in the day when I read in the program that a Cory Booker was receiving an honorary degree Doctor of Laws degree from Williams College, it didn’t click that it was THE Cory Booker, the amazing, determined, hardworking mayor of Newark, NJ.
I literally stopped in my tracks with my Canon 70-200mm lens dangling in one hand and dug into my camera bag for a pen and paper.  I was determined; somehow I was going to simultaneously capture his words and photographs because his call to stand up for the truth of who you are and your purpose in e-v-e-r-y moment MOVED and resonated deeply with me.

I decided to compile key phrases from Mayor Cory Booker’s speech into a Baz Luhrmann-esque poem.  Because I was also taking photos, some of it is paraphrased but the essence is there.  Enjoy seeing the passion and many expressions of Mayor Cory Booker.

We are all born originals, BUT

most of us leave as copies.

You were NOT born an accident.

You were born to SING your song.

STAND up for who you are.

Stand up because who you are is so much more important

than your circumstances.

Stand up for your values!

BECAUSE you will change the world.

We all have a purpose.

Will you manifest your TRUTH?

It’s about the MOMENTS and your choices.

Choose to be kind and react from a place of love and decency.

NEVER STOP telling your story.

Never ever give up.

No matter how deep the trough, CLIMB!

Pour your essence into every moment.

Stand up!

Life is about what you do, not what you preach.

Confront the truth of the unfinished business in your heart.

Stand up!

How DARE you let the world define your truth?!!

TODAY is the day to tell your truth.

Don’t miss the moment.

Stand up!

You must stand up because other people stood up for YOU.

~Cory Booker, 2011 Williams College graduation