Ahhh, those high school grad days of yesteryear. The sad goodbyes. Leaving your comfort zone. The excitement of what lies ahead. It’s all part of growing up and learning life’s lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.

The sky’s the limit for today’s graduates who have endless opportunities to follow their bucket lists and to make a difference. 

But nobody is saying they have to do great things and change the world. There will be some content with following as opposed to leading, and that’s totally fine. As long as they are true to themselves and not living somebody else’s life due to others’ expectations. 

It makes one think of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. Do you embark on the road less travelled or the one heavily trodden? One or the other will make all the difference. But perhaps both will. Maybe you’ll veer off on a branch that is your true calling. Be yourself and follow your heart, not the influencers on social media.

Whatever the case, the world will need leaders to replace the old ones. We will need leaders to combat climate change, the drug crisis, poverty, crime, and our health care woes. No doubt some of our graduates will be up to the task. 

We extend kudos to the educators who molded and shaped our graduates into intelligent and caring individuals who have grown to be compassionate. 

They realize the world no longer revolves around them, and that they need to help others on their journey as well. Resilience is perhaps the most important lesson they learned in school, aside from striving for their goals. They have learned to get back up once knocked down. To face their problems head on instead of dodging them. To take risks for greater rewards. And to think outside the box.

The fear of failure is so strong that it has kept many people from reaching great heights. 

Did you know that many uber famous people failed before hitting their stride to success? Stephen King’s manuscripts were rejected many times before he became a best selling author. Nobody thought Albert Einstein would amount to anything. Bill Gates’ first business venture failed. Thomas Edison failed miserably at least one thousand times before he created the lightbulb. Simon Cowell’s record company failed, but look where he is now. Steven Spielberg initially failed, and so did Walt Disney. Failure is inevitable, but perseverance is what defines success.

As our grads walk off that stage, they not only face adversity but infinite opportunity to affect change to make our world a better place. And they will, for generations to come.

Lyonel Doherty, editor