“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates
This weekend, we celebrated my nephew Mark’s graduation from college. Next weekend, we celebrate my niece Emily’s graduation from high school, proud moments, wonderful life transitions and milestones. Twenty seven years ago, I graduated from college and am reminded vividly that time passes by both slowly and quickly all at once. If I could go back and give my 27 year younger self some advice as well as Mark and Emily, here are a few thoughts that come to my mind and heart:
- Be aware and awake to the gifts in each day. Pay attention.
- Each step, each day makes up your story and it will be revealed at the right time. It all ties together.
- Love completely, regardless of the perceived risk.
- Work hard. And while your career is an important part of your life, it’s not who you are.
- Mind, body, heart, spirit – grow them all.
- Always do your best regardless of what others say or think. Never dumb it down or dial back.
- Our plans don’t always work out the way we planned, but they always work out.
- Stop and help others along the way. Lasting joy comes from giving more than receiving.
- Laugh a lot and don’t take yourself so seriously.
- Your family is your anchor and home, always cheering for you, crying with you and quietly praying you through.
- No matter what happens, you are never alone. God is with you every step of the way. Sometimes ahead, lighting the way. Sometimes at your side, holding your hand. Sometimes behind, lifting you up.
- Cast your light. The world is waiting.
While this part of your education is over, school has just begun. Be curious, ask questions and you will learn every day. And to my 27 year older self, that youthful optimism and enthusiasm remains within, a bit bruised from the journey, but stronger for it.