Having my first grandchild graduate from high school has made me think deeply about how this moment in a young person’s life resonates from the past and into the future, reminding me of my own and my children’s graduation. The above video is a snippet from the Livestream of my grandson Rigdon’s graduation yesterday and I listened with interest to the speeches and watched the beautiful faces of the Spring Valley High School Class of 2019. Some of those kids have a plan, a glimmer of what their future might hold, while others are simply scared spitless about what comes next. They’re all mistaken, of course, since the future is an impossible beast to control.
As I wrote to my grandson:
A moment of transition in your life, significant and scary, exciting and confusing, all of the above. The most important thing to know is that you are greatly loved, surrounded by love, and that you hold within yourself admirable qualities of loyalty, humor, intelligence, kindness. I could probably go on with more, but I think that list comprises, for me, the most important ones. It is not necessary for you to have a plan for your future right now. There will be plenty of time to ease into your long-term goals. In fact, I would say to you that a lot of what your course in life holds is unknowable, not capable of being planned, because events, experiences and people will change your plans, for both good and ill. I believe your admirable qualities as listed above will help you steer your path and I am thankful that you don’t exhibit truly horrendous character traits that would be your undoing. You’re not a user,a greedy, selfish, or uncaring individual. You are not perfect, but you are perfectly okay, because no one who loves you expects you to never make mistakes or be anxious. I love you and am proud of you, grateful for the portion of your life that I have been privileged to witness. God bless you, sweet man. Never hesitate to call on me at any time for any need that I can help with. I would be honored to be able to provide you with support. Love, Grandma
I most fervently believe that the single quality which most determines any young person’s future is their character and the proudest description I can give about my grandson is that he is decent, a word that sums up so much of what is best in a person’s behavior. I wish him and all the graduates a wonderful and fearless future!