OPINION – Dear Maycyn and Brooke, it’s hard to believe graduation time is here already.
With one of you graduating college and the other graduating high school, I’m sure the opportunities ahead seem dizzying. It’s been 30 years for me, but I still remember the overwhelming sense of possibility that struck me following the commencement ceremony.
Each of you has your own expectations, dreams, and aspirations about what you’ll do with your life. There are a few things I’d like you to consider as you move forward.
With both of you girls are getting ready to head to Alaska to work for the summer, I’m simultaneously proud and jealous for your good fortune.
First and foremost, I want you to remember that you are not your job. Each of us must pull our own weight and be capable of providing for our needs. Sometimes, that means making a living doing something you love. Other times, it means doing what is necessary to make ends meet and to fulfill your obligations.
When you find yourself working a job that you don’t enjoy, give it your best effort anyway. Individuals who can be counted on to do quality work will find opportunities that seem to evade those who only do the bare minimum.
Doing your best not only refines and builds your character; it also teaches you that you are capable of doing difficult things. Once you understand that you have real inner strength, you’ll never see yourself the same again.
The best possible situation is to discover a personal purpose that brings passion to your life and then do it well enough that it creates value for others. It doesn’t matter if your purpose is healing the sick, creating beauty, or liberating the captive. What matters is that it is your purpose.
One of the greatest joys in life is discovering who you were born to become and then becoming that person. True wealth should be measured by the amount of time you have to do what you love.
We live in a culture steeped in consumerism. Our self worth is too often contingent on the clothes we wear, the vehicles we drive, or our worldly possessions. Don’t fall for this lie.
The materialistic mindset lulls a great many people into the bondage of debt in order to keep up appearances. You can avoid this trap by understanding the difference between needs and wants and controlling your spending accordingly.
There are a lot of otherwise responsible adults still paying off the late night tacos they put on their credit card 3 years ago. A bit of self-control will spare you this fate.
The artificial laboratory of your classroom is about to give way to the real world where you’ll encounter all different types of people. Do your level best to surround yourself with friends who bring out your most noble characteristics.
The most surefire way to make this happen is to be that kind of a positive influence to others in your own life. Light seeks light.
It’s rare to encounter individuals who are truly evil. However, it’s quite common to encounter varying degrees of unhappy folks seeking to spread their particular brand of misery to everyone around them.
A good indication that you’re dealing with such an individual is that they spend most of their time proclaiming who or what they are against rather than what they actually are for. The chronically negative, the fearful, and the enemy-driven do not make good fellow travelers.
When you encounter such people, remember that they have only as much power over you as you’re willing to give them. Walk away their efforts to manipulate you and they will retreat back into well-deserved obscurity.
As you both move forward with your lives, there will come point where most of the parental advice you’ve received will suddenly make sense. It happens to all of us.
Hopefully you’ll see clearly how much you are loved and that your mom and I have been in your corner all along.
We’re not anxious to see you both leave the nest, but we’re proud that you’ve reached the starting point for life’s next great adventure. We believe in you. We are the ones who will always be cheering our hearts out for you.
When you need encouragement, we’ll be there. When you need comforting, reach out to us.
When you need money, well, see the part above about self-control. Ha-ha.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.