The graduation speeches were excellent. I gained a lot from hearing them even though they were geared to the graduates. One speech in particular really hit a nerve. It was given by a retiring history teacher, which my husband also taught.
The speech centered on four things this teacher hoped the students would remember. He joked that the only thing he remembered about his high school graduation was the three parties he attended afterward.
The four things he spoke about were:
1. Do what you love. If you don't, you're probably not going to be very happy.
2. Learn and practice humility. We're all going to fail and fall.
3. Life is difficult. Accept that and accept responsibilty for your actions instead of blaming others.
4. In a society that seems to only recognize greatness, it is okay to just be good - a good parent, a good neighbor, a good citizen of the world, a good employee...
How applicable this insight is for people of all life stages. Here I am at mid-life, like so many others, trying to figure out a new career direction. It was good to be reminded to concentrate on what I love.
Boy oh boy, have I fallen in the recent years since my husband's death. I've had a hard time making it on my own as an only parent. And I've made mistakes and the wrong decisions. I need to cut myself some slack.
Just the other day I was mulling over how hard I've been on myself the past years as a widow, always putting myself down for seemingly not being able to keep up with married parents. I thought that I need to stop this way of thinking and simply accept that I truly have done the best I can under sometimes trying circumstances. I totally agree that it is a fine accomplishment to be excellent but sometimes good is actually what is more important.
Fine points to consider and reflect on for all of us "graduates" of the world.