Just a Few Words

editorial-logo3Believe it or not, it is graduation time again. Saturday the Jefferson County High School Class of 2017 made their way across the stage, ending their career as Jefferson County students and taking their first step into adulthood. I remember clearly my own graduation from Jefferson County High School. If I try really hard, I can still feel the thrill of excitement and anticipation. Back then, graduation was held on Friday evening and by mid day Saturday I was knee deep in sand with the thoughts of my four years as a Patriot just a memory. What I didn’t know, was that the crossing of that stage was just the first of many “adult” landmarks and not all are as welcome but most are equally breathtaking.

It didn’t take me too long to realize that this world is not always fair. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always unfair either and sometimes you get lucky and things break your way. It is just never a good idea to bank on a good roll of the dice. Luck is no substitute for preparation. Oh, I know that it sounds boring but it is true. Be it career, further education or other big life moves, they all go much smoother if you are prepared. So, be that person. You know the one that does the research, the one that looks over the ledge before you leap. Take the class, make the call, find the information. And never solely rely on what anyone else tells you. People are often wrong, sometimes on purpose and sometimes because they just don’t know or care to find out the truth. If you act on wrong information, it will be you who suffers the consequences. Put your faith and trust in a spiritual place, that is where it belongs. When dealing with people, use reserve and always look for the truth behind the answer.

Sometimes, even preparation can’t carry you over the hurdle and that is when tenacity takes over. When you are a child, your world is limited but your imagination is not. For adults it is often the opposite. In theory, your world is wide open but it is often the imagination that becomes limited. Even those that can envision greatness have a difficult time making the dream a reality. That is where tenacity comes into play. Success in life requites tenacity. No matter how prepared you are, road blocks and stumbling blocks will be abundant. Do you run away at the first turn in the road or do you stay the path? Be it career or marriage, tenacity is what carries you beyond the bumps in the road. Dig in your heels and say to yourself: “this will not defeat me – this will not beat me and I will not let go without a fight.” And then fight. Fight hard and hang tough and know when to let go. I know it sounds like competing advice but life is complicated and there are no absolutes. Sometimes you have to let go to go on. Sometime you have to fight to keep from letting go. You will face both in your lifetime, and, if you are honest with yourself, you will know when to do what.

And then there are those other times – times when tenacity and preparation aren’t the point. In every life there comes the time to jump. Jump in or Jump out. Take the leap of faith, without worrying about the landing. There is truly no reward without some measure of risk and those that cannot risk are left behind wondering at what might have been. I have fallen many times and I will not lie, it hurts. It hurts your pride and can bruise your self esteem but a little pain won’t kill you. Growth comes from the hard times, the falls. As a child, you learned to walk because you risked and endured falling. You got up and tried again. Sure some of the falls hurt worse than others but it was the fall and the eventual rise that allowed you to walk. And run. Never be afraid to take the leap. At worst, you will fall and rise again. At best you will run.

Congratulations Class of 2017. I am borrowing words from a Jefferson County High School Commencement speech many years ago, given by a man that knew what he was talking about. “Never give up. Never, ever give up. Never, ever, ever give up!” Life is waiting. Go get it!

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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