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Keep the faith, graduates …

When I was asked to write a ‘Senior-send-off’ editorial, perhaps giving a parent-of-the-graduate perspective, I hesitated before accepting the assignment. It is now 4:05 a.m., a full 12 hours into my 24-hour deadline, and I realize maybe I didn’t hesitate quite long enough. My parent-of-the-graduate perspective has become a swirling jumble of advice, emotions, quotes, tears, morals, rational and irrational thoughts that even I can’t decipher at this hour. Still, I’ll try to be brief.
First, we are proud of you! Graduating from high school is no easy task, with grades to be made, friends, lack of friends, extracurricular, family, distractions of all kinds ‘ and while you’re at it, decide what you want to be when you grow up. That’s a lot of pressure, but you’ve made it. Congratulations on this success.
Second, find your own definition of success. Set realistic goals for yourself and change them as needed. Keep in mind, the smallest gesture can be the greatest success of your day. Share a smile.
Third, life is way too short for pettiness, grudges and jealousy. Forgive and go on. The Golden Rule just makes sense: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’
Through all this, remember, every cloud has a silver lining. The silver lining is our faith, our hope.
Recently, our minister quoted Winston Churchill, who was denied entrance into Oxford University. However, later in life, he was asked by the university to give a commencement address, which he did. His advice? ‘Never give up. Never give up.’ In other words, life can throw you some zingers, but throughout those times, keep the faith.
Last week, I watched my daughter play her last high school softball game. She’s graduating. She’s 18. We’ve watched her play softball every year but one, since she was six years old. She didn’t always play on a ‘winning’ team, but she was always a winner. Not because she was on a sport’s team but because she was participating.
Dear graduates, make a difference. Participate and share joy in this journey called life.

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