June 26, 2011 by David Gillaspie
When you need a hospital, it is the most caring place on earth.
Until then, where do you choose?
For me it’s the recent National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) graduation inside the Portland Art Museum (PAM).
Why? Because it was that never-happen moment that never happens, a combination of event, setting, and content.
You’ve heard of Naturopathic Medicine, probably know an ND in the neighborhood. They graduate from NCNM, some with honors, some with highest honors, to cheers and applause.
All to be expected.
After the last new doctor in the Class of 2011 crossed the stage with their diploma, the crowd stood to give a rousing ovation.
It was the second longest and loudest standing-O on an evening where only one person could top it. Wade Davis.
Through no fault of his own, Mr. Davis turned the actual ceremony into an encore performance. His commencement speech hit notes so clear that they jolted the crowd into a frenzy of applause.
And more clapping.
And clapping more.
His speech proves the adage: ‘You may forget what you heard, and you may forget names, but you’ll never forget the feeling you had here.’
And they felt it.
Wade Davis turned an annual rite of passage for medical students into a Hubble view of earth and their place on it.
The young doctors inside the museum’s third floor auditorium heard a modern Mark Twain’s take on the world in a just-in-from-the-frontier style; all that was missing was a campfire.
He is a big man, height and weight proportionate, who has done hard things. His story combines a youth in western Canada, Harvard, more Harvard, and living a driven life.
Dr. Davis explained our planet in ways only an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society could explain, and did it as if he wanted the audience to understand.
The NCNM grads listened from the front rows; young parents with babies stood in back near the doors. Between the two sat hundreds of supporters, family, and well wishers captured in the Wade-web of believable, yet unbelievably cool, experiences.
If there is a real Most Interesting Man In The World, it could be Wade.
If there was a Most Locked Into His Audience Speaker, it would be Wade.
More than anything, he makes you want to join him, the naturopathic doctors in the house being no exception.
In return, he made you believe you have something of value to add to his already rich life. It was this sort of exchange that electrified the room.
Newly minted NCNM graduates felt the full power of Dr. Wade Davis’s speech from the front row, the force of his words driven into every heart.
On his finish, they celebrated their moment of journey together, and those to come, igniting the audience with their shared enthusiasm.
The crowd’s reaction to the non-traditional life-map Wade rolled out from the lectern captured the day; friends and family sharing the moment all gained a new point of reference:
“Be patient enough for your destiny to find you.”
Thank you, Wade Davis.