Never Look Back - A Graduation Story

This is a time for graduations.  Young men and women are graduating this week from grade school, high school and college.  During this time there is a lot to reflect upon.  For graduates, it is a time for them to look back on their school career and relish the memories made, ideas learned, and friendships cherished.  But I have some unique advice.  My advice is to never look back!  While those things are important, they are not the most important.  Most of the memories you made while in school you will probably not be too proud of later, and the things you learned are only stepping stone for more learning, and the friendships you cherish now will most like fade away over time and give way to new friendships.

The most important thing for kids to remember is that they are on a journey, one that will never end.  When I was in school, particularly grade school, I really struggled.  In fact, my worst subject was English!  Can you believe it.  I think I almost flunked English for 9 straight years, until I was in the 10th grade.  I had a teacher (Mr. Geiser for my Garfield Hts. readers) who had the intellect to see that the way I was learning was not working for me, so he gave me a new way to learn.  He challenged me to take home different parts of speech and memorize them, which I did.  First prepositions, then adverbs, conjunctions, etc.  In the 8th grade I memorized the Preamble to the Bill of Rights and other historical documents, which I still know to this day.  I memorized the Act of Contrition in the second grade in one night, and today I can easily memorize the lyrics to almost any song, even rap.  Everything began to change for me.  In college, I even graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Once I learned how to learn, I never looked back.  I never lamented over those days when I thought I could not learn, and never again did I not believe in myself.  Today I love to write.  I write for a living, I write this blog, and I am working on writing a book (which I won't publish until I am old and everyone I know is dead or close to death :)  Sometimes the most challenging things in our lives become the things we love the most.  Relationships can be challenging as well but my advice is still the same.... don't look back.  Why?  Because you can never recapture the sentiment you once had in a relationship.  Did you ever fall in love with someone when you were younger and think, "I could NEVER live without you!"  For a while you "love" each other, you want to spend every moment together, you make each other laugh, and cry, you have everything in common.  Then, one day things change.  Maybe one of you does something that makes you mistrust the other, maybe you become jealous and petty.  Soon, this person you adored makes you feel sad and unappreciated.

Doesn't that happen?  Perhaps not only in marriages but friendships as well.  It's sad when it happens but I encourage you to look ahead in times like that.  Do not look back on a lost relationship but look ahead to knew and happier times.  Unfortunately, people are not 100% trustworthy, they will break our hearts and try to break our spirit, but never let anyone have that kind of control over your life.  Never give anyone the power to take away your joy and happiness, and please, never look back.  Jesus is the only person worthy of your complete trust.  He has YOUR best interest at heart at all times.

This blog is for all you young men and women out there, especially for my young men, keep an open heart so that you can recognize love when it comes, but when it does, don't close your heart to God, because you might need him to mend it for you some day.

Congratulations to all the graduates out there, including my son John.  Don't ever look back and dwell on the things you did wrong, the mistakes you made, or the things you neglected to do.  Today is a new day.  A do-over, so do it right!


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