Life can be broken down into moments. We may not remember all the details surrounding these moments, but we remember how we felt at each of them. We remember the elation of winning our first soccer or basketball game. We remember the excitement and the nervousness of when we first became high school students. We remember how we felt when we first met our closest friends.
These moments come together to form our memories of the past. And in a way, it's these memories that make us who we are. Because even though it's the emotions we remember, it's the actions that we take in response to feelings that define us. When we won that game did we congratulate our teammates? When we first walked these halls did we make the decision to succeed? How we answer these questions is important in determining who we are, who we're not, and who we want to be.
And now we stand again remembering how we feel today. At our graduation. At the ceremony in which we leave the home that has seen us grow over the past four years. So what is it that we feel? Joy at having run the race? Pride at having done what others in our families haven't? Nervousness at facing what lies ahead? I know I feel all those things. But something I feel more than anything else. I feel anticipation. I'm eager to move forward and collect more memories for myself, knowing that with each one I have the opportunity to grow stronger.
We stand at a doorstep. Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. What we will do from here, just as what we've done from the past, will paint an ever-changing portrait of who we are.
In this life we know that we will encounter struggles. We know that we will encounter suffering. These are givens of human existence. But it's not the trials that have any value or intrinsic meaning in themselves. It's how we respond to those trials that makes all the difference.
Remember, nothing will work unless you do. Esteem that truth above all others and remember to “never give in....