An Open Letter to Graduates
Congratulations! You have arrived at a change moment in your life—whether you are graduating from high school, trade school or college.
In ancient times, students were pictured as camels. These civilizations saw education as a time to provide what the student needs to be a good worker, a dedicated citizen and a person of ethical values. These values were to be borne by the student as the camel bears precious loads.
In ways appropriate to your age and development, you have been provided with the following:
You have learned to think critically; to seek the very center of the issue placed before you.
You have been encouraged to discover the God-given meaning of your life and how you will carry out your life’s work through service to your community, your nation, the world. You have two fundamental questions to answer: “Where am I going?” and “Who will I take with me?” Unfortunately sometimes people answer the second question first—they choose their partner before they decide where they are going, and sometime the person chosen to go with you wants to go somewhere else. And big problems emerge.
You have been taught that cultures and people have differing experiences, even though we all share the same earth, yet we see the world through different eyes. You have been helped to see difference and diversity as gifts and not as problems.
You have been challenged to recognize the unique gifts and skills you possess. One of the basic jobs of parents, teachers, and coaches, etc. is to help you make that discovery. Your own hand will never liberate the best that is in you; it is the hand of another who brings those gifts to your awareness. These people are your companions on this journey of life. Cherish them as they cherish you.
Finally, I urge you to be ever conscious that you have been created in the very image and likeness of God, and thus you are endowed with ultimate dignity and value. Don’t sell your self short. God does not make junk.
Fr. Steve Adrian