A Special Message to the Class of 2012
When I graduated from York High School in 1970, I didn’t come close to being named valedictorian, but since this is “my blog” I get to say pretty much what I want. And since the season approaches when we will crowd into stadiums to hear “Pomp and Circumstance” and listen to the collective wisdom of the young, I feel compelled to share my thoughts about Success, Luck, Love and Attitude.
Some years ago when I had a student at York High School, it was suggested by the school’s National Honor Society that parents write a letter to their child letting that child know how much they loved him/her and provide personal advice for the future. As a program it never took off, perhaps because some people felt awkward writing such a letter. But my wife Kris and I embraced the concept so each of our kids received a “love” letter from us at graduation.
Since my kids’ graduations are now distant and happy memories, I’ve decided to address the CLASS OF 2012, and YOU will be my messenger.
Dad’s Attitude Speech features this powerful message by Charles Swindoll, the Christian educator:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude … I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
When my kids received “the speech” they thought their dad was silly. I believe as time has passed that they’ve come to realize the one thing they can control in their lives that will have the most impact on their quality of life and their chance for success, is their Attitude.
In June, when you and your friends are wishing the 2012 graduates “Much Success” and “Best of Luck!” consider this. Earl Nightingale, author of The Strangest Secret defines success as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal” and luck as “a situation when preparedness meets opportunity.” It really is no coincidence that those people who most of us consider lucky are successful.
Thanks for being my messenger. My concluding message to the graduates of 2012: Your parents love you, although they may be inept at expressing it. They and I wish you the best success in your future. And whether you think you can or can’t, you’re correct.