It’s an adage that has been around pretty much since adages were invented (which was a long time ago, probably): It’s not the destination, but the journey.
No journey to my mind is more valuable, more noteworthy than graduating high school. It helps frame the person you will become, and lays the foundation of the knowledge you will bring to bear in the rest of your life.
I’m amazed that today, mumblemumblemumble years after my high-school graduation, that the things I were taught are used even today.
More than the math, and science, and language arts, though, are the interpersonal things I learned, things that you new graduates have learned, that are even more valuable.
You’ve learned how to be part of a whole. You’ve learned how to be accepting of differences. You’ve learned the value of life, and living, and the things necessary to make life grand — courtesy, respect, ambition, thinking, responsibility.
These things, to my mind, will make more of a difference in the quality of life you will live.
For me, respect is one of the greatest virtues, right next to responsibility. If you respect what you are, and what others are, there will be very little strife. If you respect the fruits of yours, and others’, labor, you won’t lack for anything, and won’t be disappointed because of the failure of an item or friend.
Courtesy always is a great thing to have. The things you do in your life — shopping, working, vacationing, etc. — will be so much easier when everyone is agreeable, and not cranky.
Ambition will take you far. Never settle; push yourself to be more, at play, at church, at work, as part of a family.
Thinking makes a big difference in the outcome of any venture, personal or business. Use the skills you picked up puzzling out your assignments will help you puzzle out the events you will face as you go through life.
My favorite is responsibility. Take charge of your life and your decisions. Don’t be defined by an event, or an excuse, or a tragedy; and don’t accept the limitations that are imposed on you from outside.
You want to make a change in the world? Be responsible. Vote. Campaign. Take office. Take charge. Be the change you want to see. Accidents happen; take charge of the solutions.
Another adage I’ve always heard is that high school was the best years of anyone’s life. I find that to be one of the saddest statements I’ve heard. Yes, I enjoyed my high school years, but the best time of my life is the time I’m living in right now.
I relish the times you will have as you move through life. For me, my epitaph should read, “A live well-lived.” I hope yours is, too.
•Our Headline of Note this week comes from Newsweek, on a subject that is making the rounds of social media and even snopes.com: Ask your baby’s permission before changing diaper, says sexual consent expert.
The upshot of the article was that leaving room for consent would teach a child that their response matters. I think the smell would indicate the necessity, and given the developing senses, and lack of language skills, it’s really a weird stance.
It’s also one that doesn’t need to be the subject of national news.
Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.