What I will say at graduation next Wednesday…
Life is not a Zoom meeting.
Congratulations class of 2021, not just for completing your high school requirements but for living through the most challenging academic year ever.
The values you have shown-perseverance, empathy, hard work will take you far in life but if there is one value, I want you to embrace it is Gratitude.
And I don’t just mean thanking the people who have helped you get where you are, which you should do, I mean gratitude for the little things we all take for granted. Because if you are listening to this you are rich, you are a miracle and you can do anything that you have passion for.
But remember life is not a Zoom meeting, life will not take place on your phone or your laptop or your TV. Life is not a notification or a like or a comment about your last post.
Life is interaction and after a year of hibernation, it can be tough to get back to this. We will all need a little push to reboot our lives but the nice thing about times of change is that you are able to reinvent yourself however you choose. This is where the gratitude comes in because you are only limited by yourself.
You have been given much up to this point and now it’s time to take what you have and develop it. Be curious, be healthy, be the one who not only questions life but finds out about life. Learn not because your teacher or parent wants you to but because you want to. And be grateful that you are happy and healthy enough to take advantage of all opportunities.
The last year has been a heavy lift for all of us but it will soon be in the rearview mirror. Through struggle comes growth and if you were able to complete your graduation requirements during this last year then you deserve a big congratulations.
And if you are wondering what comes next, be confident knowing that you are in charge and you can overcome any obstacle, such as a worldwide pandemic, and still thrive.
Congratulations class of 2021.
What I really want to say at graduation next Wednesday…
Life is hard and unfair and full of bad people; you will realize this soon enough if you haven’t already. It is also full of rainbows and flowers, but not so much recently.
This year sucked, pure and simple. Sure, we did the best we could but everyone was flying blind, anxious over everything and wanting to spend the days hiding under the covers waiting for things to get better. I never want to talk to another black rectangle waiting for that little thumbs up emoji to validate my existence. If you have no idea what this means, ask a teacher.
Then when life seemed to be getting better, the capitol was attacked and many people refused to get vaccinated even when it would mean the end of the nightmare. Again, life is unfair and full of bad people.
Sure, gratitude and empathy and all those other values are nice but they won’t buy you a house or car or help move you toward independence. Hard work in the real world will do that, earning money will do that. And please let go of the new Ponzi schemes like Bitcoin, discover your real passion then work your ass off to monetize it.
But first assess where you are today and plan how to reset yourself. Healthy people don’t get as sick so be a healthy person. Driven people accomplish goals, so be driven. Mean and angry people make the world worse so don’t be that and don’t hang out with that. And finally united we will stand and divided we will fall so learn why people think differently than you then accept that that is the way democracy works (except for that guy in the horns who stormed the capitol, he was nucking futs and we never have to accept that kind of crazy).
It’s time to move on. The past is over and we can only deal with what we have so let’s work to change the things we can, accept the things we cannot and develop the wisdom to know the difference.
Take as long as you need to get your Physical, Mental, and Social selves sorted then come back with your batteries recharged, Ponerse las pilas as a student wrote on my board recently.
And if you need a little push, make this your soundtrack of the summer from the Linda Lindas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5AhU5Q7vH0).
Oh, and congratulations class of 2021, the world is yours.