This month I’ve been invited to attend multiple High School graduations (I must brag on the son of a cousin who became the Valedictorian of a graduating class of 125…Congratulations Diego!). During these ceremonies it became apparent to me that as the saying goes “Some things never change” and while I believe in tradition, sometimes I wonder.
After all, the ceremony itself has not changed in the 44 years since I graduated from high school. Pomp and Circumstance is still played. The salutatorian and valedictorian nervously read basically the same speech that has been handed down thru the generations and the principals and board members go on and on about ideals that no one really pays attention to.
The favorite buzzwords of the day always seem to be; freedom, mistakes, try, and achievements.
Proud family members anxiously await for the name of their graduate and in some cases display a show of exuberance that some think may be more warranted for the Nobel prize award ceremony. And the kids sometimes seem embarrassed by the attention, while other bask in the glory and display their right to self-expression by wearing colorful socks and shoes as their cap and gown covers the rest.
After the ceremony, parents track down their kids to take pictures that they will treasure for the rest of their lives, as the kids track down friends for a hug as they know that this may be the last time they are all together in one place. Invariably, this is usually the time when “the question” arises. “So what are you going to do (with your life)?” May as well ask this 18 year old to please define the meaning of life.
At this time the kids either give you that “You’ve got to be kidding me” look (that all parents know so well) or will give you an answer (lawyer, teacher, etc.) because (I always wanted to…or…because my <fill in family member name> is one…or because I have the grades for it, etc.). And the proud parents? They pretty much echo their offspring’s hopes and dreams.
By the way, did anybody say “Because he/she has the natural strengths” to support his/her choice?
This is the one thing about this wonderful time of our lives that I wish would change. I wish that students, parents, and teachers would be able to look at themselves in the mirror as they are putting on their cap and gown and see a sign that says “My natural talents are …”
So when the $64,000 question comes up they can say “I will be studying to be a <fill in your personal choice> because that is the career supported by my natural talents”…or…”I will be working as a <fill in your personal choice> because I have the natural skills for that kind of career”. In other words take advantage of Your Talent Advantage.
Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.
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