I thought about what I would tell them. What advice do I want to share with these young enthusiastic souls?
What do I wish I was told?
What was I told?
My very wise and loving mother said: “Your education is something no one can ever take away from you.”
And “You can be anything you want to be.”
And “If you’re going to do something, do it right!”
And “I wish you a hundred daughters like yourself!” (But that was not when she was happy with me!
After much thought and contemplation about what I would inspire these youth with, one word spoke louder to me then any.
That word is…. QUIET.
A VERY LOUD QUIET, in fact!
You may now be saying: “What the heck?” QUIET? Seriously? They need encouragement, direction, guidance, motivation, God and a JOB! Or to be told, like Winston Churchill said: “Never give up, never give up, never give up.”
Well… I do agree.
Yet our youth are bombarded with distractions with every beep and vibration of their cell phone, even while they are on the toilet. (I know, you do that too, don’t try to deny it!)
These bright-eyed enthusiasts have been well occupied with distractions, their attention being pulled in many directions and unlimited opportunities (good and bad) surround them.
Many of them have “just gotten by” and are applauded for minute successes due to low expectations and a normalization of average behavior that is encouraged by a system that condones and accepts mediocrity.
Let’s pause and think about that…
When in fact, every one of these graduates has the ability to be EXCEPTIONAL!
We must remove the worldly expectations — what car we should have, what designer we should wear, how big our house should be… None of those things really matter…
It’s in our quiet we connect with… What really makes us happy? What does bring us joy? What gives us lasting pleasure and peace? Who is important to me? What are our talents? How do we enjoy contributing?
Each one has a unique calling and contribution to make. It is not achieved with being mediocre, but with being exceptional. This takes tenacity and hard work and quiet.
Let’s get to it!