“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I quoted a military general in my high school yearbook. I wanted to be a Marine. I sensed how fortunate I was to be born where I was, when I was. I felt a calling.

"Duty is the sublimest word in the English language."

One of the things I most enjoy about HBS is its focus on deeds. As I graduate this year, I also near the end of my eight-year commitment to the Marine Corps. Marines trained me to lead with a "bias for action." When combined with a strong moral compass, business judgment can be a powerful force for good.

But we have a duty not to feel entitled. We have a duty not to have graduating from Harvard be the greatest accomplishment of our lives. Harvard is simply an enabler. In 2008 and 2009 we have seen what happens to society when business leaders lose sight of what really matters.

We never know when our time will come. From Iraq to Kenya to Bosnia and even here at home in the U.S., I have seen too many lives cut short by violence and poverty. At a place as abundant as Harvard it is easy to become so engrossed in the next best thing that we lose perspective. I want to live a life where every moment counts. I want my contributions as a husband, a father, a servant, and a leader to speak for me. I hope my life's actions inspire others to carry on in our common quest for a more peaceful and equitable world.

— Rye Barcott