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What Will You Do? (A Message to Grads)

What Will You Do? (A Message to Grads)
May 12, 2017 No comments

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What Will You Do?
When you were asked
in Mrs. Johnson’s
or Mrs. Smith’s
or Ms. Roberts’ class
what do you want to be when you grow up?

Do you remember the possibilities that flooded your mind?
With great haste, tingles racing up and down your spine
as you declared…

I want to be a doctor.
I want to be a nurse.
I want to be a vet.
I want to serve people
…well people and pets.

Ya…that was some time ago, wasn’t it?
And you grew, as we do, and many things changed.
You got your driver’s license, and your license to exchange
One dream for the next as if dreams were like trading cards…
as if dreams were a game.

But for you, you and your declaration you stayed true…
From that moment in Mrs. Johnson’s class, when you knew what you knew.
I’m going to be a surgeon.
I’m going to be a firefighter.
I’m gonna do what I do.

So you did…
School came and the dream became heavy.
Late nights, early mornings, and caffeine at the ready.
Sailing over rougher seas, as your course grew unsteady.
Already now, fatigued heads down shaking “how”
How am I going to get through this thing now?

As you sailed on and that sail became torn
The weather had weathered your dreams to be worn.
Storms beating and breaking you down to the bone.
Groaning from growth and thrown off the throne.

Of adolescent dreams perched high and unmarked.
The reality is…
Reality doesn’t have a heart.
It ain’t got soul, doesn’t have compassion, doesn’t care how you feel.
It will beat you down, break you apart, that’s the realest real.

So I ask you…
What will you do?

What will you do when the tassels you turned
from the right to left, means the class has adjourned.
On all you have known, since you were a kid
when the unknowing wasn’t the scariest thing that you did.

Unknowing is hard.
You’ve been taught to think wisdom a guard against failure, but even with facts in your brain
failure will comes and hits hard all the same

‘cause life hits with a force.
Franticly flung and without remorse.
And outside of school walls made of brick and stone
more forceful fists are undoubtedly thrown.

What will you do?

You will get up and push on.
You are a doer… and doers respond
to red lights, and sound of alarms
desperate cries, you perk up your ears and open your eyes.

This is where you step in.
Now… TODAY.
Right where you are.
Stand tall with your cap and gown
and reach for the star that you sailed toward in the first place
All those years past.

Wrap your fingers around it and feel it at last.
Follow its path… this light you carry brings hope to so many in need.

If you stayed true to your course
when tired eyes won’t read
when tired hands won’t work
when tired thoughts can’t think
your will keeps you sailing where others will sink.

You’ll make it through.
You’ll reach its end
and face a beginning that has yet to be penned
because nobody has written that part of your story yet
you haven’t written what comes next.

So I ask…
What will you do?

Hold nightmares back
Fend off the sights and sounds that flood the world everyday
fueled by knowledge within
now that the lessons are over, the learning begins.
What will you do?

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