The months of May and June bring us to graduation time. Last year, I was invited to four kindergarten promotion ceremonies, ten high school graduations, and one college commencement. This year those numbers are a little less intense. I only received invitations for two kindergarten, one high school, and two college graduations. I was able to be present at all the ceremonies but one. All these friends and loved ones, having achieved their designated goals, were anxious to share their triumphs with those of us who have made investments into their lives.
Graduation is the seal of accomplishment, the crowning touch of promotion, the finish line at the end of the marathon. Who of us, having crossed that line ourselves, does not turn around to cheer the runners who are also pressing toward the end and straining for the prize? To the graduates of 2019, may I extend heart-felt and sincere congratulations!
Promises that lie before us motivate our behavior. For example, the benefits available to the graduate with the diploma in his hand outweigh the cost of hard work to gain the certificate. The vision or the goal that we are seeking to achieve motivates many of our deeds. The more precious the reward, the higher will be the price that we are willing to pay.
Easily earned, shallow gains are insufficient incentives to produce the tenacity necessary to overcome great obstacles. Hence, we have the saying: ‘easy come, easy go.’ Conversely, great promises can extract a great cost. Long hours, hard toil, mental strain, personal discomfort, forfeited pleasures, and financial investment may all constitute that cost. But, once the goal is attained, once the individual has persevered and the success is immanent, the price disappears from view in light of the earned reward. Such is the stuff of which champions are made. Graduates are champions. They have conquered. They are victorious. They are the objects of our applause and of our admiration.
This year as I sat in the graduation ceremonies, my heart swelled in pride for both the valedictorians and the students who were awarded scholarships for further study. Tears filled my eyes as I beheld the diplomas and degrees being presented. As I listened to the challenges proclaimed in the commencement addresses, I was assured that those who have attained their goals are poised to meet their destinies; because every goal accomplished validates a person’s abilities. Graduates have applied their abilities, expanded their surroundings, and released their potential. Graduates are testifying to us that their courses were not made of aimless drifting, unintentional luck, or any unplanned venture. They have not walked through a succession of events absent of purpose. Rather, their aspirations and hard work have converged; their dreams have become realities.
Congratulations to all graduates of 2019.