"We all have to determine for ourselves if we, in mixed turbulent times like we are currently in, perceive the glass of water to be half full or half empty," he said. "I'm a half-full sort of guy. I propose that we are, indeed, living in the best of times. In spite of all of its warts, 2009 is a great time to be alive. We are living in a time of great opportunity."
With economic uncertainties and the widespread discontent existing between nations and world religions that oftentimes breeds fear for the future, Bishop Burton reminded students of other times in history — like the Great Depression in the late 1920s and the 1930s — when times were tough.
It was during times of difficulty, he said, that many rose above themselves and the times and gave support to others who were suffering. The hard times became a time to rise to a new level, allowing individuals to become capable in ways they never thought possible.
"We have that same opportunity today," Bishop Burton said. "The challenges of 2009 can be the platform that sensitizes, prepares and launches us to the tomorrows of our lives."