Congratulate and attend the commencement of the graduate in your life

Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Most college commencements have been held. Both, Milligan and ETSU have had their graduations, and graduation ceremonies for local high school graduates are just days away.
Families are getting ready to parade into gyms around the area to honor their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends. Elizabethton High School’s graduation will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 21. Happy Valley and Unaka seniors will graduate May 21 and Hampton High seniors, May 23.
The honor is a major turning of the page. The piece of paper you will receive can help you in more ways than you realize.
While most of us have many years behind us since graduation, we have had an opportunity to learn more about life and sometimes its failures.
Here’s some advice:
• You live in a great nation. With all of the talk about how horrible things are or how horrible America is, throughout its history our country has provided opportunity for millions.
The opportunities here offer a chance to escape persecution, practice religion, say pretty much what you want, and live in freedom. Our country also allows people, who may grow up in poverty, to accomplish great things and become successful.
• You live in a great state and a great community. Just look at it. It’s where you made your first friends; some will be life-long. It’s where you began the learning process.
• Remember the people you went to school with. Most people can remember their favorite teacher or coach, but it is important to remember the folks you were in science class with. They are the people who will be your friends nearly 30 years later.
• Build bridges, don’t tear them down. There will be people who will make you angry in your personal and business life. Rise above it all, don’t be vindictive.
• There are no last acts in your career. In today’s world, most people will have three or four jobs, sometimes more than that, before they retire.
Winston Churchill is credited with saying: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
You will be facing many issues in the future: finding a job, going to college; not to mention inflation, a war in Europe and threats to free speech to common sense itself.
Life isn’t fair, and you must work hard to achieve and compete. Learn to give back and to encourage others, and to make the world a better and kinder place to live and work in.
Your generation will play a huge role in the future of this country. Make the most of it.

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