|Former U.S. Sen. William E. Brock III recently addressed PBA students during the President's Lyceum.|
Former U.S. Sen. William E. Brock III urged Palm Beach Atlantic University students to get involved in community service to change their lives and the lives of others.
“It gives you a sense of what really makes a difference in life,” he said. “It gives you a sense of purpose.”
Brock spoke at the latest President’s Lyceum, a University series in which visitors who have distinguished themselves in various professions share their insight. He talked about his experiences and fielded questions from a group of high achieving students.
Brock, from Tennessee, served in both the House and Senate. He later chaired the Republican National Committee and was secretary of labor under President Ronald Reagan. He is now a counselor and trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.
He told the students about his father, “a real leader” and a role model for community service. “I was blessed with really good, loving parents who just never questioned their responsibility to their community or fellow man,” he said. “That was my life lesson, so I watched them.”
As an example of community service, Brock told about volunteering at the Chattanooga Area Literacy Movement, which he and his wife helped start. There one morning he called upon a man known as Uncle John.
“Uncle John started reading,” Brock said, “and tears are just rolling down his face. I said, ‘Uncle John, what is going on?’ He said, ‘Mr. Bill, I’m 78 years old and this is the first time I am reading the Bible.’”
“It doesn’t take many things to tell you there’s something really good about community service,” Brock told the students.
A student asked how this generation can avoid passivity in community leadership. Brock warned of the many distractions today such as movies, television and hand-held electronic devices. “You have got to get engaged in the community and do something for somebody else,” he said.
“Find someone in the community that looks like the community and give them a voice,” he said. “Reach down and look for people to get involved.”
Another student asked advice on becoming successful. Brock replied, “If you have your roots down deep, values and concerns, you don’t have to sweat it out as much. Don’t over analyze. Live the values and core that you are.”