Congratulations! Today is your day! It’s Graduation Day!!
You are off to Great Places! You’re off and away!
You have brains that are full. And feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy or gal who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care! Will you go off to school to USU, UofU, BYU, Weber or elsewhere?
Or will you go to work as a salesperson, a cattle person, a hair person or a driver? Maybe a mission or the military is for you. You’ll look over your options, look ‘em over with care! About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
You may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. Maybe to California or Seattle or New York you’ll go to chase your dreams or to simply explore.
One thing you will notice when you get out there, is things are happening everywhere. Out there things can happen and frequently do, to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too!
OH THE PLACES YOUíLL GO!
Think of Kindergarten and your first day of school.
You learned how to tie your own shoes, your ABC’s and 123’s, too. You learned and you learned till you got to 12th grade and you became a smart person as you filled up your brain. You probably never thought you would ever be here but you are. You are finished riding this high school train! Now it is just you and your foot-filled shoes and your smart-filled brain!
Senior Year has come and now is gone. Way to go, you made it! What a year to remember. Homework, computers, friends and teachers, back packs, books and calculators. Football games, Homecoming, Prom and girl’s choices, assemblies, tests, pencils, and track races. Free…free at last! No more school, or maybe school is just starting for you.
Either way, You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights. You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang as you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t. Because sometimes you won’t.
I am sorry to say that it’s so, but sadly it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will ask yourself questions, like how did I get here and now that I am here, what do I do? You will come to the place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they are darked. You will ask if you should go in? You could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win? And IF you go in, should you turn left or right… or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up their mind.
You can get so confused that you’ll start to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish, wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place.
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for planes to come or buses to go or waiting for Uber to come or your Lyft to go. That email to come or the text to go. Waiting around for a Yes or a No, or some are just waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is waiting. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or Friday night or waiting and waiting for this or that, everyone is just waiting.
NO! That is not for you! Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where big bands are playing, where once again you will fly high! Ready for anything under the sky.
Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV, or Netflix or Hulu or maybe just YouTube.
Except when they don’t. Because sometimes they won’t. I’m afraid that sometimes you’ll play lonely games, too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll be playing against YOU!
But you’re not alone. We will be watching and caring as you go. We love you and will miss you as you go on the trail but we know you must go, so go with great care. You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with great care and great tact and remember that life is a great balancing act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, Indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) Kid, you’ll move mountains! And you have a whole community cheering you on as you go.
Be your name Aleksa or Arik or A’Bri
Or Makinly Maralee Johanssen-McKay
Youíre off to Great Places! Today is your day.
Your mountain is waitin’!
So get on your way!