NEW CASTLE —
Congratulations, Class of 2013!
You made it.
Your last history lesson is history.
Your last final — final.
The unsure children who once needed help to climb the school bus steps will now stride confidently across the stage to receive their diplomas.
Go ahead, rock that robe!
Go ahead, flip the tassel from right to left!
Go ahead and toss your mortarboard into the air even before the speaker finishes his final sentence.
You’ve earned the right to celebrate.
All those late nights studying.
All those early mornings following the late nights studying.
All those people who teased you in the hallways. And, worse yet, all those people who ignored you.
Time to move on.
But consider this a warning: You will be tempted to spend the rest of your life checking your review mirror.
Don’t do it.
“I have memories — but only a fool stores his past in the future.” — David Gerrold
Powerful, powerful things, those memories.
They’ll make you laugh. They’ll make you tear up. They’ll make you want to relive them all over again.
And, if we let them, they’ll make you crazy.
If you remain stuck in the past, you’re just going to remain stuck. In the past.
And stuck in the past is not a good place to be.
But, if you’re going to get stuck somewhere, be sure it’s between your past and your future.
You know, that tension-filled zone that’s one part fear, one part doubt and one part excitement.
Some people call it “Now.”
Every day, in some small way, loosen your grip on what’s behind you and grasp a little harder what’s ahead.
In other words, use the past.
Learn from it.
Let it be your springboard to a brighter future.
Just don’t stay there.