JOHN EATON REMARKS
July 27, 2014
It is an honor for me to speak at the 2014 Pugwash District High School graduation. Before turning to some lessons that I learned from my Grandfather, Cyrus Eaton, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone here who has gotten involved with Thinkers Lodge either in their studies, making the wonderful cedar benches that now grace the deck of the Lobster Factory or volunteering to move furniture back to the Lobster Factory from storage or scraping and painting the Gate House. I hope your commitment to both learning and community service stays strong.
Cyrus Eaton was born in Pugwash River in 1883 and grew up in Pugwash Junction. He graduated from Amherst Academy in 1899 and won the graduation prize. The prize was the complete works of Charles Darwin and the complete works of Thomas Huxley. These two scientist/thinkers remained an inspiration to Cyrus his entire life and he kept portraits of both in his library at Acadia Farms in Northfield, Ohio. We now have those portraits at Thinkers Lodge.
My grandfather believed in education and learning. He read 5 newspapers every morning and loved reading history and philosophy in the evening. He never wasted time watching TV. Many of the conferences held at Thinkers Lodge were about learning and understanding. For instance, he sponsored conferences on Islamic Studies, on Chinese Culture, and on The Civilization of Indian, just to name a few. Experts who participated in these conferences were always astounded by how much Cyrus Eaton already knew about the conference topic. He made it his business to learn about new developments, about cultural diversity and about history. He fashioned himself in an expert farmer and raised prize winning short horn cattle on his farms in Nova Scotia and Ohio.
Cyrus Eaton has a simple formula for success that he shared with anyone who asked and shared with his grand children...whether we asked or not! The formula was “find something you really love and then work harder at it than anyone else.” Let me repeat that: “find something you really love and then work harder at it than anyone else.” His point, of course, is that if you love what you are doing it does not really seem like work.
Finally, on this graduation day, I would like to leave you two other thoughts that are inspired by the Thinkers Lodge National Historic Site. Always remember that “one person can make a difference” and “big things can happen in small places.” So I will close by saying “keep learning” and “keep making a difference.”
Congratulations on Graduation.