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Stephen Geez

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You Graduated!
By Stephen Geez
Monday, November 14, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Words every graduate should hear...

You graduated!

You got it done.

You accepted the challenge, conformed where required, rebelled when it served, and never ceded your individuality. In fact, you asserted it, taking a giant step toward knowing who you are, a lifelong process now rising to the next level. You did not simply establish your place in the world; you found new and exciting ways to make the world fit around you.

Now you understand why we wanted you to work so hard. Never in history have our societies—our cultures—placed so much emphasis on educating our citizens. Fast as we manage to cut a road, put up shelter, and tap some water, we build a school. We continue to expand the time and resources afforded our young to learn. We require a lot from students, offering incentives and rewarding success in ways tangible and beyond. As much as learning to live is intrinsic to our very being, so is yearning to teach those who come after, that they may live better.

And you will live better.

Sure, your efforts often required a leap of faith, a tremendous show of trust, especially when much asked of you seemed hardly relevant. Still, you trusted that the depth and diversity of your education would somehow matter even in ways unanticipated, not just for you, but for those you love. No way could anyone predict the breadth and reach of your life's odyssey, so even though our guesses might sometimes prove askew, remember that the mere fact of your accomplishment carries its own weight. When a subject proves frivolous, the best student nevertheless nurtures skills in the all-encompassing art of mastery, in embracing a series of increasingly challenging goals, then developing the means to achieve them. Sometimes the details of what you learn are not as important as the effort you put into becoming a learner. Graduating proves you did that. However you choose to use it, people will respect your diploma because you earned it . . .

Because you got it done.

Your education proves you are a better citizen now, a full member of the tribe sharing our common values. You are equipped with invaluable skills, able to contribute, to pass along. You have learned to develop your talents, even those not yet discovered, not yet revealed. You have tasted the exhilaration in expressing your curiosity, your creativity, your ideas. You have asked the questions and realized that answers always lead to ever greater mysteries, many of which you will spend a lifetime answering for yourself.

You didn't just get it done; you got it started.

You started something big that never stops growing bigger, so whether you continue your formal schooling or chase the challenges of exciting new directions, this moment marks an important milestone in your life. Do not consider graduation a reason to pause. Keep the momentum. All you desire, all you achieve, it all requires diligence, your determination to reach beyond what you know, what any of us know.

Your greatest skills now are the all-encompassing art of mastery, of embracing a series of increasingly challenging goals, then developing your own unique means to achieve them. The possibilities are limitless.

Just imagine what you can do.

So, congratulations, graduate. The family of man applauds you, and we who love you are prouder than words convey. You did it.

You got that part done.

Now the real learning begins.

       Web Site: Stephen Geez

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