Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On Graduation Day

The big day has finally arrived. It's GRADUATION DAY at John F. Kennedy High School in Iselin. The ceremony will be held today at 2:00 PM.

If it rains, you'll need tickets to get into the gym; each senior was given two tickets. I'm hoping for a nice sunny day, in which case the ceremony will be held on the football field. Of course it's looking like a 50-50 chance of thunderstorms; it figures. I'm bringing a rain poncho.

My youngest son will be graduating today, so I'll definitely be at the high school, and hopefully I'll have some photos to post later.

I also have a few words of advice for the class of '11, but I doubt they want to listen to me. I didn't want to listen to old people when I graduated, either. But for what it's worth, this is what I have to say.

Think. Think about what you want out of your life. Spend a little time day-dreaming about it. Day-dreaming isn't always a bad thing. Set some goals - some that you know that you can reach, and some that are grandiose dreams that you doubt you'll ever achieve. Some practical things, and some amazing things. And then spend some time thinking about one little, tiny thing that you can do TODAY to get one step closer to those dreams. And write down those ideas and goals and little tiny steps, so you can look at them and think about them again later.

Your life grows one step at a time. Every little step you take, every action, every decision, as small as it may be, sets you off in a direction. Make those little steps count. You'd be surprised at how fast time goes by - try not to waste it. Don't veg out too often. Try to take a few little steps in the direction of your dreams, every single day. Sooner or later, you'll get to where you want to be.

Don't be afraid. When you think about your dreams, a lot of times your mind will start playing tricks on you. You'll hear your common sense say something like, "That's just silly," or "It's too hard to do that." Or maybe you'll just get REALLY TIRED, and need to lay down a few minutes, or you'll decide to zone out with a video game for a while. Don't listen. Instead, take one, little, tiny, step. Move forward.

Don't get so attached to STUFF. Things won't make you happy.

Don't get involved with the drama. A lot of people SAY they hate drama, but get involved with it anyway. Why do so many people seem to LOVE the drama? It's exciting, it's addicting. But it isn't healthy. You need less excitement and less drama and less STUFF than you think you do.

Instead, try to find JOY in life. Joy is way better and more fun. I can't tell you where to look because it's different for every person. But I can suggest that it's hidden in peace, and in appreciation, and in love, and in thanks. It's also hidden in working hard - no one seems to expect to find it there, and you might not see it at first, but you can find joy in hard work if you keep looking in the right place.

Congratulations on your graduation. Good luck and best wishes. I hope you find all the joy your heart can hold. There is plenty to go around.

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