Graduation Speech: It's All About Us!

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Hello Class of 2012! I assure you that no matter what your parents are thinking—which is something along the lines of, "I did a great job with him or her"—their conceited thoughts are irrelevant to this occasion. It's not about them; it's about us. Contrary also to what the board members (who you'll see today for the first and last time) believe, that they've earned the right to hand us our diplomas due to their perfect decision making (comedic stare and pause), this moment is also not about them; but again, about us. Then, in opposition to what every lawyer and doctor, teacher, business owner, and worker in general is thinking—which is something along the lines of, "blah blah blah, I remember my graduation"—they're just daydreams. This is not about them either; it's about us. And when we leave this place to pursue separate ambitions, the attention will never fade, the hate will never subside, the mountains will increase without fail. No matter how many people have blazed a path, rivers will not part, expectations will not reduce and therefore it will still be about us. And though we continue to grow even after being handed the diploma, to understand life, and choices, the opposite sex, the pressure of here and now, the strain placed on us from long ago, and the demands that our future will fire upon us, there will be close calls, fatalities, elation, affliction, and joy. And thus, it will remain about us. When others see us they see half of us in jail, some of us unemployed, some pregnant currently or in a month or two. They see too many blacks or too many Latinos or too many whites or Asians or Native-Americans for us to make anything of ourselves. While these thoughts are derogatory, the fact is they are still about us. When we, however, see ourselves, we see doctors, lawyers, preachers, presidents, teachers, and outstanding members of their fields and society in general, and what we think has been and will be the only thing that matters; because what we think was created by us. And we break the statistics that say this many go to jail and this many become pregnant. And we reconcile stereotypes that encourage different members of society to refrain from interacting with other members of society, and we become the long awaited for female or Black president, the owners of this and the CEO of that.

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