Preparing to go to graduation today, I took a few minutes to collect myself and as I was doing my yoga poses and breathing, I thought about watching the people I had known and worked with walk across that stage, dressed in gowns and stoles – and hats, and of their achievements. Some people will not be there today, whether because of work commitments (the real world is a bugger sometimes, and having the day off means a pay cut for many), or because of distance, or even choice – but it doesn’t mean they have achieved any less. It also does not mean they won’t be remembered. You will be remembered.
I remember my own graduations. In America you seem to graduate from everything – from grade school even! What’s that all about? So by the time you get to a big one, like university, is it just another walk across the stage? It shouldn’t be. I sincerely hope that you are not the same person you were when you entered this institution. I hope you have grown and I hope you have evolved to see possibilities where you didn’t even know they could exist. By the time I got to my PhD I felt like I had done something, but it shouldn’t take 5 or 6 graduations to get the point across.
Graduating and achieving a degree is an accomplishment, and in a very human way, we need to mark that. We live this life bound in the fabric of time and having milestones makes seeing progress more possible. It is not just another step, another brick in the wall. That brick might just be the cornerstone or the beginning of an arch. I, for one, count it a great privilege to have been a part of your time here, and hope to have contributed something positive to your journey. You certainly have to mine. It is like an anniversary, and only through watching others have I realised the value in marking those accomplishments.
Whether graduation seems monumental, or just like another brick, I would like to honour you today and encourage you to keep building. Nobody is ever done, not really done anyway and you never know where it leads and who will walk on your path with you.
(featured image CC-BY by Luftphilia)