From our vantage point, it’s hard to remember exactly what graduation felt like. Alas, the years take a harsh toll even on the sacred benchmarks of our lives.
But we still feel a sense of the relief, the exhilaration, the expectation and, possibly, the tad bit of trepidation.
Quite a good deal of inspiration and advice for graduates echoes across those commencements: Make the most of your lives. Seize the day. Believe in yourselves. Improve the world. Don’t place limits on yourself. Think about what really constitutes success. Remember your roots.
All wonderful and valuable messages. What could we possibly add to them?
Just this: Be kind.
You don’t have to look too far to find instances of meanness, pettiness, vindictiveness. They’re not just prevalent in our world. They’re prevalent in our daily lives. Probably none of us gets through a day without observing, suffering or committing meanness in some way.
We come across it in traffic, at the supermarket checkout line, in the workplace, in hurtful humor and political banter. It’s everywhere.
Our lives ought not to be about us against them. They ought to just be about all of us. Each of us is here for only a short time, each with the same fragile vulnerabilities, the same mortality.
As you live each day, try to remember that.
Arlington Heights Daily Herald, June 8