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San Clemente Journal

The Graduate

May 01, 2008 10:27PM ● By Don Kindred

Taking Brighton to College

Publisher Message
by Don Kindred

Four years ago, I used this space to share a letter to my daughter as she graduated from high school and went on to college. The time has passed in heartbeats. Now she graduates again. And again, I’m left trying to find words that might be appropriate for the occasion.

It would seem a time to acknowledge that life has reached an important milestone, that fork in the road where education is over and work life begins. But I believe the opposite is true. The last four years were work, but it is now that you start your education.

You’ve been through text and teachers. Your mind is sharp and full. 

But it is the very ability to learn, something you have excelled at since birth, which will be the most important thing you take from school. It will be more relevant to your future than all the knowledge you’ve accumulated thus far. 

Never think you can stop learning, never close your eyes or shut your mind to some new way of seeing the things you think you already know. It is when we think we know it all, that life will prove us wrong.

You have made tough choices. But the decisions you’ll soon be making will mean much more than a grade. The difference is summed up in a word, responsibility. It is yours now. As students, we are shuffled through well traveled roads with class-sized turns. This is a new road, one that is yours alone. The choices that will mark the turns along that road, where you’ll live, where you’ll work, whom you’ll love … these answers are not in a book, and sometimes it takes a might longer than a semester to know if you made the right ones.

Your faith is strong. You have been guided by your parents and your God with rules and commandments. Know Him, not just in a remembered scripture, but in the tall grass of a sun-drenched day, in the broken waves that lap your feet, in the open eyes of a true friend. You have accomplished much. Your efforts have brought pride to your family and confidence to your step. Pour the wine, celebrate your life, and then get ready for the next lesson. So much more awaits. Life is the toughest teacher, but the most rewarding one. Nothing worth having is easy. 
Find happiness in the struggle, laughter in the tears and a solid plan for your wildest dream. 

And, in the words of an old friend, Never, never, never, ever wait for some distant tomorrow to embrace your talents and do the things you were born to do.


Don R. Kindred
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