Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 09 June 2009
This Saturday, as you don your caps and gowns and cross the stage to collect your diplomas, I want you to remember the moment for all it is worth.
You are preparing to take the biggest challenge of your lives to this point. You are embarking on a new world filled with obstacles, heartbreak and disappointment. But, you will also experience joy, discovery, wonder and awe at what lies ahead.
You weren’t even born when I was in your shoes and walked with my fellow classmates to the podium to start the next chapter of my life. It wasn’t that long ago, but the world has changed since I left high school.
For one thing, I was pretty sure I could find a job after college and I didn’t have to worry about my family losing their home, jobs or way of life.
So I have two things to offer you on your special day: an apology and a challenge.
First, the apology.
I am sorry about the condition of the world you are about to inherit. For some reason, my generation, and the generations before me, didn’t exactly leave you a whole lot to work with.
Somewhere along the line we got distracted by celebrities and inane causes. Instead of making the world a better place, we worried about ourselves. We were more concerned about what movie stars were doing with their pretend lives than to bother to develop ones of our own.
We became greedy, shortsighted and narrow-minded.
We were more concerned with who was going to be the next American Idol than who was going to lead us.
So you are about to enter a world with an economy in tatters, a job market where corporate CEO’s are more concerned with the almighty dollar than with quality workmanship or the well being of their employees.
America is in danger of losing its place as a nation to be admired and the leader in innovation and change. More and more people in the world look at us with disdain, or even hate.
All because the generations before you lost sight of the ideals the country was founded upon.
For that, I am sorry.
Here comes the second part of my message to you; the challenge.
Do something about it.
You are among the most technologically advanced generations ever to be in existence. The advances in communication and computing ability simply dwarf what was around when I was in your shoes 22 years ago.
The things you take for granted every day, were not even dreamed of when I was in school. You have the opportunity to leverage the world you grew up with into a powerful tool for change.
Don’t squander it like we did.
There is still hope for us older folks. Many of us have seen the error of our ways and are trying to fix things.
But the real change begins with you.
Take charge, repair the damage we caused and shape the world into something we can be proud of.
I know it won’t be easy, but I have faith that you will take up the challenge and do something to make the world a better place.
We have to have faith, it is all we have left.