Posted 5/30/12 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Over the course of the years, at graduation time, I have tried to find some words of advice that I can share with the young men and women who will soon be embarking upon the next great journey of their lives.
Graduation for most high school seniors is just another of many transitions that they will make in life. They’ve already made some minor transitions as they have grown. But nothing is going to be quite the same as they embark upon a very new journey. A journey that they themselves will be responsible for. For some graduates of the Class of 2012, this new journey will simply be moving off to college, while for others the end of high school will mark the end of their days in the classroom as they join the military service or seek employment.
Over the past 12 years, parents and teachers have done their best to prepare this year’s graduates to be ready to leave home and strike out on their own. We can only hope that, collectively, we have done our jobs well and that the Class of 2012 will find success and pleasure in the new lives that they are preparing to lead.
So what bits of wisdom can I impart to this year’s graduating class?
The message that I would like to share with the graduating Class of 2012 are things that they need to believe in which may help them become better people and better friends as they journey through life.
Things we all need to believe . . .
Believe. . . That just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do love each other.
Believe. . . That you don’t have to change friends if you understand that friends change.
Believe. . . That no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while. And you must forgive them for that.
Believe. . . That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. The same goes for true love.
Believe. . . That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
Believe. . . That it’s going to take you a long time to become the person that you want to be.
Believe . . . That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
Believe. . . That you can keep going long after you think you can’t.
Believe. . . That you are responsible for what you do, no matter how you feel.
Believe. . . That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
Believe. . . That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
Believe. . . That you and your best friend can do anything, or nothing, and have the best time.
Believe. . .That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
Believe. . . That sometimes when you’re angry you have the right to be angry. But that doesn’t give you the right to be cruel.
Believe. . . That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
Believe. . . That it isn’t always enough, to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
Believe. . . That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
Believe. . . That your background and circumstances may have influenced who you are. But you are responsible for who you become.
Believe. . . That you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
Believe. . . That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
Believe. . . That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
Believe. . . That the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the most of everything.