It’s graduation time! College seniors are beginning their working lives. High school seniors are becoming college freshman. Kindergarteners are … oh wait, what is up with making a big deal about kids graduating from kindergarten?
That’s an entirely different discussion.
Today I was privileged to attend my niece’s high school graduation. Several officers of the student body spoke during the ceremony and each speech contained a similar theme.
Each student body officer talked about the struggles they have been through and the future ahead of them. Struggles and future.
High school struggles. That fascinates me. What struggles are there in high school? It’s nothing compared to the struggles of adult life.
Take a moment to think back to specific times in your life.
Reminisce on your years in high school. Think of your first kiss, barely passing calculus or shooting the buzzer beater in the district championship basketball game. These were the best of times and the worst of times.
Meditate on your years in college (however many that may be). Remember your first true love. Picture your father’s face when you told him senior year you were changing majors. College was the best of times and the worst of times.
Look back at your first year of marriage. The first couple of weeks were the best ever but then you actually had to live in a non-honeymoon state. You had to work and make money. You had to see each other all the time and you argued about money. Your first year of marriage represented the best of times and the worst of times.
Do you see the theme?
Your present and recent past are always the best of times and the worst of times. Our memories are short and our vision is limited. The current bad experiences are always worse than the past. We can’t envision them being worse.
No matter what you are going through today, you will always think it’s worse than anything in your past. You’re experiencing it NOW so you can’t envision it ever getting better or being worse. It’s just going to be bad. So you think.
If only you could step outside your body and look at yourself from the outside. You’d see others being envious of your struggles. They’d love to be in your shoes rather than theirs. Your life really isn’t so bad.
Your life is actually really good, sprinkled with some struggles that you let overshadow the good. Open the umbrella of hope and let those struggles rain on it and run off around you. Use that umbrella of hope to protect you from the dark clouds but always look for their silver lining.
Today may be the best of times and the worst of times. That may be true. But, you can choose to make today the best so far. Make tomorrow even better.