Letter to the 2008 Graduates
It’s just you and the future, Childhood memories will last a lifetime, but, life will never again be the same.
This is for those youngsters who will be graduating this month, who will be leaving the protection of home and striking out on their own.
You have absolutely no idea what the future has in store. You will have great things happen, and you will also get a lot of hard bumps. The bumps will seem harder to you than they really are. Your parents, up to now, have been taking many bumps for you, sheltering you against them. Later, you will do the same for your children.
Time will help you become calloused against those hard knocks. So don’t get discouraged. It takes cutting and polishing to reveal a diamond; it also takes some suffering to “bring you out.” Many of life’s worst heartaches come in those early years when we strike out into the world for ourselves. We stub our toes and scrape our shins on mountains made of molehills. Keep the courage; don’t get disheartened.
You will find distinct classes of people down life’s highway. Some will go out of their way to help you to guide you, to share their wisdom from the bitter experiences they faced. Pay attention to these people, especially the elderly. They have learned the shortcuts to take and the pitfalls to avoid.
You will also meet some plain nasty people, varying in degree.
They are the people who make life disagreeable and wretched for themselves and can’t be content to see anyone else happy. They are the ones who will kick you when you’re down. They have absolutely no loyalty.
They are predators, vultures eager to take advantage of your youthful innocence and lack of life experience. As far as possible, ignore these types. Don’t let them make you like them — bitter, cynical.
Just remember that no one is worth it; anger and resentment are the poisons of the mind and spirit. Keep your cool. That has served me well and it will you.
As youngsters, we have a tendency to drift away from the folds at home. You’ll regret that later in life. Sometimes when it’s too late to make amends, the time will come when you fully realize the heartaches and struggles endured by your parents to get you started on the right road, to give you a better edge than they had.
When you go away, write frequently. Mom and Dad can help steer you properly when you’re in doubt. They may seem old-fashioned to you, but, you know what? That may possibly be because they have attained that old-fashioned quality–horse sense. Believe it or not, most of you will some day acquire this quality. But, that will occur only after you have fought through the many experiences and trials of life.
Some of you will fall more often than others. Always have the courage to get up. It’s never easy, but believe me, as long as you’re trying, someone will come along to help you.
Forget your mistakes.
You can’t do anything about spilled milk. Let them be a lesson, however, and press on to the achievements of the future.
I wish you all a good and happy life. Your opportunities are endless.
What you make of yourself is strictly up to you. This is important for you to know.
You’ve been schooled and nurtured. Life is going to change, not only for your, but for your parents as well.
So, as you spread your wings and leave the nest, remember the foundation they gave you and what their hopes and dreams are for you.
Here’s hoping you take the right fork in the road.
Some day you will look back and you’ll know how right I am. I’ve been there, I was a lad just yesterday it seems.
Life’s Highway travels fast. Godspeed, and a great journey.