Graduation - an end and a beginning all at once


High school, college, even middle and grade school students marked the end of one portion of their lives and the beginning of another.

The ceremonies that marked the occasion were the usual mix of solemn and joyous, happy and sad, celebration and tears.

While it was ending for the students involved, there is a reason why the ceremony is called “Commencement” and not “Conclusion.”

To many of the graduates, it may have seemed like a sad ending, but the truth is that is and should be a happy beginning.

Whether they go on to further schooling before beginning their careers, or step off immediately into the work world, or go off to serve their nation in the military, all of the graduates this month shared one thing in common: through their education, they have built the foundation of what can be a successful and fruitful life ahead of them.

At the Plymouth High School commencement ceremony, the graduates heard their chosen speaker Sam Scharinger – associate pastor at New Life Community Church and a former counselor at the high school – advise them to live their life with the belief that, “This moment here is preparing me for the next.”

Those would be wise words for them to heed, as indeed each moment in life will prepare them for the next, as their education in the Plymouth School District has prepared them for the rest of their life.

That education was far different than the one that their grandparents or even their parents received in their time, but then they have grown up in a world far different from the one that their grandparents and parents grew up in and their children and grandchildren in their turn will grow up and enter an entirely different world.

What draws them all together in one common thread, however, is the strong base that community and education have given them all, the foundation to live a good life and make their positive impact on their small part of the world.

As Scharinger told the seniors, “Each one of you are designed for something incredible. Start envisioning what that is, believe in it, laser in on it, fight for it with everything you have. Embrace this next adventure and never quit!”

Those are words all of us, no matter when we wore a cap and gown and accepted our diploma, can and should live by.

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