My dear child, I don’t think I can choke out these words on your graduation day, so I took to the keyboard instead. I have so many thoughts spinning in my head; indulge me as I spew some “wisdom.”

Be the best you can be

I don’t care what you choose to do for your career, but give it everything you’ve got. Bring passion and dedication to your work. Think outside the box; spin a problem on its side to view it from a different angle; use technology to your advantage; and surround yourself with people who have complementary talents and skills. When you’re a boss, the bravest thing you can do is hire people smarter than you.

Remember who and what you represent

Your entire life you will represent our family, but you will also represent your church, your high school, your college and your community. As your world expands, so will the people and institutions you represent. You might even represent our great country someday as you travel the world. Make us proud.

Follow your heart, don’t chase the money

You will be tempted to work for a paycheck, but try instead to listen to your inner voice and find your true destiny. The answers will come the more you quiet your mind and surround yourself with quality people. Money is important, but don’t make it your god.

Give back or pay it forward

You might choose to give back to your community in some way, or you might help someone who can never return the favor. Both are ways of showing appreciation for the gifts you have been given. Don’t hide your talents under a bushel, invest in yourself and your community and your talents will grow ten-fold.

Find a life partner who will make you better

Humans are not created to be alone. Find a partner to share your journey and surround yourself with people who uplift you. You don’t need fixing, and your partner does not either. Find someone who makes you laugh, who shares your faith, and who makes you better. Don’t ever settle, life is much too short for that.

IMG_0394 (1)Be kind, above all else

You will find yourself in situations that make your blood boil, or you’ll have an incompetent boss or irritating co-workers. You will have neighbors who make you crazy. You’ll meet people who challenge everything you stand for. Think hard before reacting, and always be kind. You just never know what that person is dealing with.

I gave you wings, now fly

I gave you this advice when you left for college, and it’s the same advice I give you now. You are ready to leave the nest and fly on your own. Have no fear, and always know where you can come for comfort.

Dr. Seuss was right when he wrote, Oh, The Places You’ll Go. You can move mountains, so grab your rope and start tugging. I love you; now go find your way.