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Words to the Graduates: Tomorrow is promised to no one, but the choice to act is yours.



Joined: 4/30/2013
Posts: 1
tgolden
Words to the Graduates: Tomorrow is promised to no one, but the choice to act is yours.

There are no guarantees in life…only choices.

Today marks a step in the path of your life. A place of no real answers. In fact, often more questions than answers. You have met expectations: some were your own, some were imposed upon you. What comes next is the real deal.

This graduation ceremony is dramatic to serve a purpose: that is to etch in your mind that you have completed something special. This production, this day of dramatic celebration of your scholastic accomplishments, is just that: the dramatic “pomp and circumstance” that is not real life. It does not, however, do anything more (as exemplified by the fact that you are not holding your actual diploma as you cross that stage). It reminds you that the choices you have made led you here, the choices you have yet to make will lead you there. It is purely ceremony, not entirely useless, but matters mostly in this moment.

What will matter 10, 20, 40 years from now is the collection of choices you make. No one choice stands alone. The dominoes of life: once the choice is made there is only one way a particular domino can fall. However, the next choice will determine where the next domino falls, and so on. There is never only one choice, and each choice will change your course.

Some of you think you have made solid choices, your career path is chosen. The future is bright and clear. Others of you have made the most of what you have, followed through on the expectations imposed upon you by family, life, and the institution itself. Most of you will follow the path closest to what you believe is the right and best one for you. Some of you may even succeed. The rest of you will count this day, these choices, as the best you could have made at the time.

If you make a choice that turns out to be the wrong one or even a bad one, there is always the choice to do something different. Great courage is required to not only stand up and admit a bad choice, but also to act upon that recognition. Both recognition and action will serve you well if you adjust your choices accordingly.

Yes, there are those lucky few who have their life goals set out from the get go, and every step and choice these souls make is in the direction of their future that glows and calls to them like a beacon in the dark. Wishes do come true, not of their own accord, but from fierce determination, self- direction, confidence, and a little bit of luck. Most of you will follow more than one course over your lifetime. These are only the first of many choices. Choose as wisely as possible, and remember “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
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