IT WAS the youngest of my four children who was graduating, so perhaps it was inevitable that I would find myself gripped with sobs.

Tears flow freely in my family. Still, what was this? I felt time hurrying on, accelerating toward the exit.

I felt pride in her achievement and joy in her radiance. I thought of the long and winding road from her birthplace in Paris to California. I remembered her at her bat mitzvah telling everyone she disagreed with God, and I thought of my parents, now gone, laughing at that.

This baby of mine has never been one to sugarcoat her views. And that's author Roger Cohen, at his very best. 

LOST ANGELES : It's college graduation month, time of reunions and reflections, an ending and a commencement, and as good a moment as ant to take stock.

To watch a child go out in the world is to know that there is no hiding from the real measure of your life.

If, as I did, you had a daughter graduating from the University of Southern California, you had to get used to the instant response - ''How much did you pay to get in? - much as anyone plying my craft  these days must grow accustomed to ''Oh, yeah, fake news!''

USC, has, of course, been Exhibit A in the college admissions scandal, that squalid parable of a status-obsessed age. A number of very rich people saw no moral issue with paying millions of dollars to get their underperforming children through the side door into top schools.

How after all, could they attend a party without being able to to let drop that Henry or Ella is now at Yale?

That would be unthinkable.

I am not going to expand any outrage on this. A lot of people are turning inward at this juncture. There's so much noise, so much hysteria, so much hatred, so much pettiness, so much falseness, so much that's stomach turning - and all of it public! The only refuge is inwardness, Nobody can rob you of that.

There was something more to those tears : remorse. I could have been a batter dad, more present, more patient, more understanding, less consumed by the next deadline.

Yes, I could. It's not what school a child goes to that makes the difference, it's the amount of love child receives that builds the surest foundation of happiness. Not for success, however that is measured, but for happiness.

Sure, I could have done worse, but that's no excuse. There's no point in taking stock unless it's unsparing; and there's no other way to change.

The honor and serving of great writings, emotions and parents, continues. 


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