College. Work. Bills. Relationships. Taxes. These are all things you will be facing in the next year as you take yet another step toward growing up. Growing up. The two words which separate childhood from adulthood. The challenge in growing up is really not about getting older or more mature but staying young at heart.
Staying young at heart leads the soul to an increasing amazement and awe of the world seen by children stopping to stare at any type of creature – no matter how small – on a walk. Live in amazement and in awe of our world.
Staying young at heart causes even the most impatient and fidgety body to sit and listen to good stories wanting to hear “just one more story” before bed or before Grandpa leaves. Take time to listen to people’s stories.
Staying young at heart asks “why” – a lot. The older you get, the more questions you’ll need to ask because you will realize how little you know.
Staying young at heart offers sheer determination as manifested in building ridiculously large Lego sets or paint-by-number pieces. Take this attitude with you to higher education and/or work.
Staying young at heart puts the focus on experiences rather than material items. Memories will outlast possessions.
Staying young at heart understands the importance of play and takes time to dance in the rain, step in mud puddles, or blow bubbles outside just to feel the sun on your face. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Staying young at heart also understands the importance of rest as evidenced in a child falling asleep at the dinner table or at a sibling’s baseball game. Listen to your body and respect the amount of rest it needs.
Staying young at heart insists on laughing as evidenced by boys hitting themselves in the head and laughing or girls incessantly giggling over nothing. Do not take yourself too seriously.
Staying young at heart values learning going all the way back to the Magic School Bus and Sesame Street. Don’t stop learning because my generation needs you to pick up where we will leave off.
Staying young at heart believes you have super powers and can change the world while adult dreams are often drowned out by life. Display your super powers proudly and use them to change the world.
Staying young lives in the moment – not the future. Plan well for the future but live life in the moment.
Staying young at heart chooses love. Choose love over judgment, petty grudges, and hate.
So, class of 2015, you are growing up, and this is a good thing. The challenge, however, is to stay young throughout life.I love y’all; now go make me proud.