Congratulations class of 2018

Published 6:10 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

It is a rite of passage that seniors across the country go through each year. It is called graduation, a rite of passage that essentially catapults them into being an adult.

This column is dedicated to the 2018 graduating class of seniors. Most of you will go on to college and other states promising to stay in touch, but again, the sad reality is that you will meet new friends whom you will find just as exciting.

Go to movies, parties and have a great time, but read the book, “You Can’t Go Home Again,” by Thomas Wolfe. The premise of the book is that nothing remains the same.

Some graduating seniors will stick around and do very little with their lives, literally fearing the future. They are traumatized not knowing what steps to take to jump start their lives. A high school friend who was a local football star is a perfect example of what I’m trying to explain. He remained in the same town and decided against college. When I saw him at my 20th high school reunion, he was stuck in a time zone. He was still bragging about all the touchdowns he scored in high school as a football player. His only distinction was his prior achievement some 20 years earlier.

The sky is truly the limit for the class of 2018. You can decide today just how successful you want to become in life. Remember, that no matter how difficult the task or the problem, every comfort we enjoy today was created or discovered by someone who stepped out on faith — it began with the first step. You will discover very quickly in life that nothing of quality and significance comes easily in life. A good ethos to live by is that adversity and travail make the man or woman, not break them. Creative people look at adversity as a way of discovering skills which would otherwise remain dormant. They refuse to give up under any circumstances.

As you make the decision to chart the direction of your life, vow never to worship material possessions. When you worship things, you make them your God.

As you traverse the road to discovery and success, learn to respect diversity. God loves every creature. If you decide to mirror his life, take comfort in knowing that there are many people who do not look like you and observe customs which you may find in conflict with your value system or mores and folkways. They too are loved by God.

And lastly, love your family. They are your earthly anchor. No one under normal circumstances can love you more. No matter how your future develops, never distance yourself from family. It is one place you can always go to again.

Congratulations, graduates of 2018.