Saturday, May 14, 2011
Braving The Unknown - Tribute To Our Graduates!
A day bursting with emotion as were the clouds heavy with pending rain. Distinguished guests and proud parents held themselves in check until their sons and daughters heard their names and crossed that stage.
Change is always hard, though necessary for personal growth and achievement in life. The guest speaker for the class of 2011 at Lebanon Valley College, Pa. was Joyce M. Davis, president of The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, Pa. Her message stemmed from a book by Spencer Johnson, M.D., "Who Moved My Cheese". Below is a reading from that book.
As he started out into the maze, Haw looked back to where he had come from and felt its comfort. He could feel himself being drawn back into familiar territory-even though he hadn't found cheese there for some time.
Haw became more anxious and wondered if he really wanted to go out into the maze. He wrote a saying on the wall ahead of him and stared at it for some time:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN'T AFRAID?
He thought about it. He knew sometimes some fear can be good. When you are afraid things are going to get worse if you don't do something, it can prompt you into action. But it is not good when you are so afraid that it keeps you from doing anything.
He looked to his right, to the part of the maze where he had never been, and felt the fear. Then, he took a deep breath, turned right into the maze, and jogged slowly, into the unknown.
Ms. Davis got a very wise message across to these 400+ anxiety ridden young adults ready to step out of their comfort zones. She had a very soothing manner of speaking that must have made many of those students feel like there was someone who understands. That it was normal to be so nervous about the unknown. That it has nothing to do with confidence or maturity or acting like an adult. We all have those pangs of insecurity that try to hold us back. Almost like your angel on one shoulder full of life and encouragement, and a devil on the other shoulder with nothing to offer but self-doubt.
There was such a rush of tearful emotion and then all was quite. Empty rooms, empty parking lots and overflowing dumpsters were all that was left of four years of struggles, failures and ultimate successes. These students who were so intertwined with class schedules and living situations had to fully accept the fact that they are now on their own in this life, that each must make his or her own way. How lonely that must have been for some, while others were chomping at the bit to wrap things up.
Many of these graduates have yet to find employment which will pay enough to cover their looming student loans soon to become a reality. I pray they continue the determined perseverance that got them this far and not give up on their dreams.
Good luck to all of them.
Congratulations to our dear daughter, Aleka, as you enter this maze we call life and choose hopefully the right path for your happiness. We felt your slipping away for years now, fully aware we were no longer the center of your universe. I guess that means we did an OK job. Time for all of us to start writing another chapter in our lives, to once again "move the cheese".