Graduation Speech: A New Adventure

Graduation Speech: A New Adventure

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No amount of education can completely prepare us for the world that lies ahead of us. Because it presents many unknowns, it is exciting yet at the same time frightening. I know that there are still so many things that can only be learned through experience; a challenge with which we will soon all be faced. I would like to read a letter written by a woman by the name of Avril Johannes which was published in the book "Chicken Soup For the Soul." She writes this letter to the world upon her son's and his classmates' graduation and it relates some of these same ideas.
"Dear World:

Our children finish school today. It's all going to be quite strange to them for a while, and I wish you would treat them kindly. They are starting out on a new adventure. It is an adventure that may include war and tragedy and sorrow. To make their way they will require a great deal of faith, love, tolerance and understanding.

So world, I wish you would look after them. Take them by the hand and teach them the things they will need to know, but please, world, do it gently if you can. They will have to learn that not all people are just, that not all people are fair, and that not all people are true. But also teach them that for every villain there is a hero, that for every crooked politician there is a great and dedicated leader, and that for every enemy there is a good friend.

It will take time, world, but teach them that a nickel earned is of more value than a dollar found. Teach them to lose gracefully so that they will enjoy winning that much more. Steer them away from envy, if you can, and teach them the secret of quiet laughter. Teach them to be at peace with their God. Teach them to be strong inside so they can stand the hurt of failure and keep the desire to try again until they succeed. Teach them to be gentle with gentle people, and to be tough with tough people.

Teach them to follow their judgment and not the crowd. Teach them to listen to all people, but to filter all they hear through a screen of truth. Teach them to laugh when they are sad, but also teach them that there is no shame in shedding tears.

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Teach them there can be glory in failure and despair in success.

Teach them to disregard cynics and to beware of too much sweetness. Teach them to sell their brains and brawn to the highest bidder, but never to put a price on their heart and soul.

Teach them, if you can, not to compare themselves with others, as there will always be greater or lesser persons. Teach them instead to surpass their own accomplishments. Teach them there is a time to gamble, but there is also a time to pass the dice.

Treat them gently, world, but don't coddle them; only the test of fire makes the finest steel. Teach them to have sublime faith in themselves as this will give them faith in mankind. This is quite an order, world, but see what you can do. They are such nice young people -- our children."

This will truly be a new adventure for all of us. I know that I am so thankful for the comfortable environment and education that has been offered to me here at Bunny High School. But these years have really only been the building blocks for the life ahead of us. They have helped to create a foundation for us to build our characters and lives upon, but they have truly only scratched the surface of who we are and who we can become. It is up to us now to determine our own futures.

Of even more importance than what lies ahead of us, is what truly lies rooted within us. We all have the potential to achieve great things. I wish that we all could have the courage to look within ourselves and realize that we possess endless capabilities and possibilities for the future that only need to be, first, recognized and accepted and then developed. Please have the confidence in yourself to pursue the life and being you seek. Now is the time, because the world does not know us as our teachers, friends and families do. We must strive to make our own place in the world. I have faith that each and everyone of us has the strength do this.

I am truly proud of my class. I am proud of its diverse personalities because, realistically, this is what the world we are entering is made up of; many different people which have a little something different to contribute to the fabric of our society. I look forward to creating a future for myself but even more so, I look forward to seeing how each of you pursue this new adventure. Thank you for the many years of memories and good luck in every path, step, joy and dream you pursue.
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