As tassels are pulled from one side of the graduation cap to the other, another generation leaves high school and enters into adulthood.
Some will head straight for the workforce, braving the unemployment rates and naysayers who tell them it’s impossible to get a job right now. Many of them will get jobs anyway. Others will ship off for college with high aspirations and lofty dreams. Still more will spend the summer a little confused about what happens next.
Because of my work with the youth group in my church, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a handful of the graduates very well. While it’s sometimes hard to grasp the reality that these people you and I have seen as kids for so long are about to become our peers, it’s also very important because 10 years down the road, everything will change.
At least I hope so. I hope the 2012 graduates of Liberty and Long counties become our competition in the workforce or maybe even our bosses. I hope they learn from the mistakes of their parents and grandparents and revive our economy, both locally and globally. I hope they listen to the advice of older (though some of us not much older) and wiser (though some of us not much wiser) friends, family and strangers and then add their own spin to leave what we thought was the best in the dust.
Isn’t that the point? I think sometimes we as adults tend to look down our noses at the upcoming youth. It’s easy to point out their flaws, just as I’m sure it was easy for the generations that came before us to pick out our flaws. Maybe the girls’ shorts are too short and the boys’ shorts ride too low. Sure, most probably have spent more time in front of a computer screen than reading their Bibles. But these “kids” also will be the ones taking our ideas and innovating them past the point of recognition. They’ll soon be inventors, software developers, doctors, lawyers, business owners and parents themselves.
I can’t help but get excited at all the great things this graduating class could do for our community and for our world. I just hope I can do my part to help them along their way and that you will, too. With or without our help, they’re sure to surprise us.