Or, as my brother Albert likes to put it, “Gradulations“, to you all.
Two of the most common things I hear around this time of the year, are (whether it’s from graduation speakers, teachers, or friends), “We made it!” and “You survived!”.
Well, is it really that surprising? It’s easy enough to remain in a near vegetable state for eighteen years with minimal cranial activity. Surviving, and making it through, means little in itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I went through the ceremony with nothing but thankfulness in my heart. All the people who have helped me, guided me, shaped me, to you I owe all.
But what is life if it’s only about survival? Maya Angelou famously said:
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
So when I say congratulations, I don’t mean “good job” for getting your diploma. I mean, it’s wonderful that you have spent your life thus far striving to better yourself while enriching others. I mean, that I appreciate that what you have done is more than merely take up space. I mean, that I love you for shaping me for who I am today, and that the trajectory you have set in the past few years will carry you higher, so long as you hold fast to your course.
Congratulations, Class of 2016. We didn’t just make it, but we made it good.