Graduation is important. Graduation ceremonies can be important. Graduation is a glimpse of everything you’ve had up to a point and a hopeful look at everything you may encounter as you move forward. Because, as cliche as it is, graduation is not an end; it’s a beginning.
I never spoke at any graduation of mine (that I’m aware of). I recall being to two formal graduation ceremonies (my high school graduation and my college graduation). Both were ceremonies that I wanted to attend. Both meant a lot to me. At my high school graduation, I was not going to speak. I was neither the top of my class (although I was close) nore was I the student council or class president. That was fine. The people that spoke at my high school graduation were lovely and said great things. Things that I still remember in spirit, but don’t remember specifically (isn’t that life though?).
There was a time – a short time – that I believed there was a good possibility that I may have to speak at my college graduation. If I had, I would have embraced it and spent time on my speech and hopefully said something that meant something to the people I knew, the people I didn’t know, and the people watching all of us.
And I might have said something like this. Graduation is a celebration. It really is a beginning. As I stand here, I flash through all of the things that have happened to me during this short time and all of the things before it. I flash through hopes and dreams that I really do hope come true.
Because graduation shouldn’t be sad. It should be a happy, joyous occasion that people should celebrate. And I hope that everyone realizes that.
My youngest brother graduates from high school this year. He will head off to culinary school a little over a month after his graduation. He will begin a new journey.
And if I could offer any advice to him and his classmates, it would be this:
Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.
-Mary Anne Radmacher
These words sum everything up to me. If you follow these rules, you will live a long and happy life. And it’s about you. Your edge might not be as far as someone else’s edge. Maybe your idea of playing is different than someone elses. And what you love will most definitely be special to you. So remember this. Live it. And enjoy everything that this life has to offer you!
Do you know anyone graduating anything this year? What advice would you offer them?