“In the game of life, nothing is less important than the score at halftime.” – Andy Andrews
“A comeback is a setback that did its homework, learned the lesson, and then moved forward.” - Eleanor Brown
“I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” —Mia Hamm, gold-medal soccer player
Last evening’s Super Bowl late comeback 38-35 win by the Kansas City Chiefs in the final 8 seconds of the game, is a reminder to all of us that our attitude determines our altitude.
The favored Philadelphia Eagles dominated the first half of the game, held a 10-point lead at halftime, and entering the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LVII, the Eagles led 27-21 against the Chiefs.
America is the story of comebacks. Since the Revolutionary War, our history is marked by inspiring comeback stories of the victorious over the favorite, and none are more memorable that those in sports.
My favorite example is our 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers becoming the first professional basketball team to ever rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, thus ending Cleveland’s 52-year, 146-season professional sports championship drought.
Like sports, life and law school is a game of skill and attitude. We are an institution where, in the words of LeBron James, “nothing is given; everything is earned.”
Our students have worked very hard to earn the right to attend a law school of quality and opportunity. We believe in them and we are committed to do everything we can to enable them to believe in themselves, no matter the odds.
Our law school is important to successive generations of young women and men seeking to make a difference. Many of our graduates spend much of their career “defending the land” and advocating for the underdog.
Many of us feel overwhelmed by the negativity, dysfunction, and violence we see around the world. Many of us feel behind in our work and our life.
Sometimes we feel like underdogs, stuck in a corner, with no way out or up.
But not a day goes by when we can’t find a way to light a match, lift our spirits, and see a comeback path forward.
I want to remind our students that at this moment, your past scores, grades, and successes as well as your past defeats, failures, and mistakes are behind you.
You get to choose what happens next. Your mindset is in front of you.
Remember your why. Why you chose this path.
You chose CSU College of Law because you wanted to be on the front lines, not the sidelines.
You didn’t just want to make a point; you wanted to make a difference.
You are pursuing your dream of being a guardian of justice by living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
Change the way you look at challenge and uncertainty. Lean into it and embrace it.
Visualize the moment you walk across the stage and I hand you your diploma.
You’re here not only to be a great lawyer. You’re here to be a great leader.
Your attitude will determine your altitude.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.
Have a great day. Have a great week.
Dean, Cleveland State University College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.
Subscribe to Dean's Monday Morning Message