For Our Graduates
Every year, about the last of May or first of June, our country witnesses the annual rituals of graduation ceremonies - a time which often signifies the end of formal education. But after graduation, many graduates soon realize they are freshmen again. The good life is a series of learning experiences. As the graduates enter college or the professional world, they would do well to build careers on a solid foundation of steady learning experiences and steadily developing talent. These are great satisfactions for the individual whose job is under control. There is only anxiety for the person whose job is not.
If schools or other learning institutions have done their jobs well, graduates will have developed habits of mind that will be useful in new situations throughout their lives - curiosity, open-mindedness, objectivity, respect for evidence, and the capacity to think critically. If society has created an atmosphere which encourages effort, striving, and vigorous performance, the chances are that our young people will expect much of themselves.
Part of that expectation will be to continue learning. Learning must be a lifelong companion so there will be continual self-renewal.
The truly educated person knows that happiness does not come from self-gratification, ease, comfort, diversion or a state of having achieved all of one's goals. Happiness involves the striving for meaningful goals-goals that relate the individual to a larger context of purposes, goals that call forth the full use of one's powers and talents. Graduation is, indeed a commencement. It is the beginning toward the best that life has to offer, the foundation of which is learning, and the summit of which is true knowledge.
Rev. Hans Lillejord