This is the time of year when we are looking forward to graduations. I have heard many graduation speeches, only a few were good.
By Carol Dark Ayres
Special to The Star
I have given the topic some thought. As a retired senior citizen, if I were asked to speak this is what I would say:
Congratulations graduates, enjoy this day because it is the beginning of your interaction with the world as an adult. The way that you choose to interact will make all of the difference.
Here are 12 pieces of wisdom that I have learned, and I hope you also will find them beneficial:
1. Pray every day, and read the Bible. Life is difficult at best, and mercilessly unpredictable. To best endure those events, one must have a good foundation. Through prayer you will gain peace, and through reading the Bible you will gain wisdom and this will get you through.
2. Mind your manners always be ready to say thanks and give appreciation, and treat your elders with respect. You will stand out when you use good manners, people will notice and see you as someone who has been well-trained and someone who is trustworthy and respectful.
3. People make the difference. Surround yourself with good people, and give/share credit where it is due. You will understand by the time that you are age 40 that life is about people. You will learn that all people are extremely valuable and very different. The ability to recognize those differences in a positive way and give credit where it is due will guarantee that you will have good relationships a rich source of happiness and satisfaction.
4. Be humble. You were enabled by God and many other people in your life. You do not stand alone in your accomplishments. Pride is one of the worst characteristics of mankind and gains no respect.
5. Keep a sense of humor. It keeps things in perspective. The ability to laugh at yourself as well as with others will keep life enjoyable. It is therapeutic.
6. Have a vision and work diligently toward it. You can accomplish anything, but there is no substitute for hard work.
7. Dont fill your head or body with junk. Meditate on the true, just and beautiful. Eat healthy and exercise. Remember when things get tight and you are squeezed, what is in you is what will come out. Be careful what you put in.
8. Be thankful for your blessings. There are many. Give thanks every day for all that God, your parents, your teachers and your friends have given you and tell them. You will feel better and so will they.
9. Read. It keeps your mind active and stimulates your creativity. Read the newspaper and a good book. You will be interesting, and people will want to talk with you and ask your opinion.
10. Dont act without thinking it through. Walk yourself through all possible results before making a decision. Save yourself a lot of trouble.
11. Vote and participate in your government. A democracy is built on the assumption that all will participate. It is vulnerable to losing its freedoms when we dont.
12. Everything is an opportunity. Take it. Regardless of what happens to you or those around you good or bad, there will be an opportunity, possibly to change, or move in a different direction or just to learn. Dont waste any of those opportunities.
Blessings on you Class of 2013!
Carol Dark Ayres is a retired educator from Leavenworth. To reach her, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.