A Question for the Class of 2010
Class of 2010,
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You’ve worked hard, you’ve jumped through all the hoops, you’ve persevered. It feels great! Exams, papers, and projects are now memories you’ll share with friends instead of events that you have to dread. Great stuff right? I’d like to give you a present for your achievement. This letter is good for a ticket into the largest amusement park in the world. It doesn’t have an expiration date. You can use it now, or later if you decide you haven’t had enough school.
I imagine your next question might be, “Where is this amusement park?” Your mind might wander to thoughts of Six Flags, or Disneyworld, Busch Gardens, or Cedar Point. Nice try, but try again. This one is bigger. Some of the rides are faster and more dangerous than anything these could offer. Don’t worry, it’s got the slower rides as well. It’s got locations all over the world. You can visit these parks in every city and town across America and the world. Yes, there’s one right in your home town. You didn’t know?
This park is called Life. The question is which rides will you spend your time on?
Do you prefer the roller coasters or merry-go rounds? Will you have the guts to ride the roller coaster, even though you’ve just seen 10 people getting off the ride pale as ghosts? Will you sit on the merry-go round and just listen to the screams of the scared throngs on those wild and violent rides? When you ride that fast one that makes you nauseous, you think you’ve had enough, and you can’t take anymore, do you buckle up again, throw your hands in the air and ride it all over again? Or do you go over to the merry-go round and ride in circles.
When I graduated, I started off riding the merry-go round. It was easy. It was comfortable. There weren’t any bumps in the road. The problem was that the view was always the same. I was always looking at the back end of the same horse. When I felt like I met the height requirement, I jumped onto another ride. It was definitely more exciting, but only because the horses on this merry-go round were closer to thoroughbreds than the ponies on the first ride. Neither ride could match the feelings that I’ve had for the last 4 years. Yes, the ride is fast and furious. Yes it has its ups and downs, and even upside downs. Many times I can’t see the twists and turns that are ahead. And sometimes I look over at that merry-go round and think about making the switch. But then I consider the view, and the back end of that horse is pretty unappealing.
Which rides are you going to ride? Life has rides of all shapes and sizes. The largest amusement park in the world wouldn’t be complete without the full compliment of rides. There will be people riding all of them. Some people will stand in line for hours just to get on one ride. I would encourage you to try them all. Figure out which ones you prefer.
I like a change in scenery. I like not knowing what’s next. I cherish the dips, twists, and turns. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I do know they make me a better person. I’ll look forward to seeing which rides you decide to take. Congratulations again. Welcome to LIFE.