Class of 2020, Congratulations.
Yes, it is true that this time of celebration does not measure up to what you deserve. You, with the support and sacrifices of many, warranted all the confetti and applause, especially from those like myself who saw you learn, grow, and develop into college graduates.
Despite our current reality, the next chapter of your life still awaits you…and we do need you, now more than ever.
The world is hurting (it has been hurting for some time). The pandemic is highlighting a laundry list of injustices that presents an opportunity for us to shift our priorities, to value human dignity, and to love.
You are prepared to be those agents of change. This is what your higher education prepared you for- and now is the time.
And we are here to collaborate with you, to learn from you, and to follow your lead. Most who had the “pomp and circumstance” threw their caps in the air with hopes of a better tomorrow. In ways, we met those goals. Obviously, in other ways, we failed miserably.
Together, let’s unite. Share your gifts and talents as only you can. Listen and look for those in need, and respond with humility and love. Use your experiences to shape the future, while always looking to learn from others- those older as well as those younger.
As a person of faith, I believe in the role of a higher power, a source that fills us with unconditional love. Our gifts and talents are invited by our dreams to change the world- pay attention and act.
Take time each day to pray, to reflect, to learn. As St. “Mother” Teresa said, “in the silence of the heart, God speaks.” Give God that time.
And give yourself the time and the credit to celebrate this accomplishment. I pray after you find ways to mark this milestone, you will, at the end, feel unsatisfied. You will yearn for what is next, something more.
Go there- chase not the lure dollar or the stroking of the ego, but love. Always love.
No matter what, follow your heart- it is where God speaks.
My friends, the world is hurting. Let’s shape it together into a community that is just, kind, and compassionate. Let’s learn the lessons from this horrible time in human history, and recreate our world.
I join you in this hope, and I promise my prayers and collaboration.
Congratulations, Class of 2020- it is your (and our) time…