Hunter Allen Black, Class of 2012….that’s my nephew. I felt such a sense of pride in that boy tonight. Not that I hadn’t felt the same pride when my own children graduated, or when his older brother and sister graduated. It was just knowing that this was the final high school graduate to come from my immediate family. It was recognizing what a fine young man Hunter has been and is…what a remarkable man he will be.
Lots of people celebrate graduations every year. There are Preschool, Kindergarten, High School, College, and Graduate School graduations. People graduate with degrees from medical school and law school and many other schools. So, what exactly is graduation–why do we celebrate it like we do? Graduation signifies the attainment of some academic accomplishment/completion. It is also known as a commencement, and that makes me think of beginnings. So, these graduates are beginning…a new stage of life. When they commence, they’ll have in their hands a piece of paper that symbolizes 13 years of school.
So, to all of the graduates this year, I commend you on sticking with it long enough to finish. Graduating means moving up a level…you’re moving up to a new level. Maybe you will go to work or maybe you’ll go to school some more. Either way, this part of life has come to a close, and there is a wonderful exciting menu lying open. Choose a dish that won’t cause heartburn. Choose a dish that will leave you wanting more. Where you’ve been….that’s the appetizer. Where you’re going, that’s the main dish. Dessert? I think that’s the treat that awaits when you retire. Eat well, my friends!
Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.~ William Butler Yeats
Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right. - Henry Ford
The best way out is always through. ~ Robert Frost
Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~ Theodore N. Vail
Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith
You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi