It was my first week of summer vacation! AHHHH! My two sweet friends (who also teach with me) and I went out to lunch to celebrate on Monday- our first official summer day. We EACH got one of these special messages delivered to our table from a little sweetheart who was also out having lunch with her family. What a great way to start the summer!
If you plant a marigold beside most any garden vegetable, that vegetable will grow big and strong and healthy, protected and encouraged by its marigold. Marigolds exist in our schools as well – encouraging, supporting and nurturing growing teachers on their way to maturity. If you can find at least one marigold in your school and stay close to them, you will grow. Find more than one and you will positively thrive.
While seeking out your marigolds, you’ll need to take note of the walnut trees. Successful gardeners avoid planting vegetables anywhere near walnut trees, which give off a toxic substance that can inhibit growth, wilt, and ultimately kill nearby vegetable plants. And sadly, if your school is like most, walnut trees will be abundant.
Basically, he was tying in all the changes happening in our world today- and encouraging the graduates to hold on to what's real.
In general, people tend to have a natural love-hate relationship with change. For the most part, we want things to remain the same, yet at the same time, we want things to be better. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all the photo paper in the world. Within a few years, and before these students started kindergarten, Kodak's primary business model had disappeared, and the company went bankrupt. Who would have thought back in 1998, the year most of these graduates were born, that most of us would never take pictures on rolls of film again?
In a few years, we will see autonomous cars that will change the way we drive, or don't drive. There will be a medical app on your phone that will scan your retina for illness and disease more accurately than your doctor. There's already an app that can scan your feet and order you the perfect fitting pair of sneakers produced on a 3-D printer. And your phone will be able to analyze a person's body language, their face, and their voice, and tell you if you're being lied to.
As evolving technologies continue to change our lives, it is important that we remember our values, our priorities, and the "things" that really matter in life. John Naisbitt said, "The most exciting breakthrough of the 21st century will not occur because of technology, but because of a deepening understanding of what it means to be human."
As humans, we have a natural tendency to take things for granted, like the stars, like our friends and families, like our freedoms, and even the gift of education.
So tonight, Graduates, as you receive the diploma you have earned over the last 13 years, remember the piece of paper, the diploma, is NOT first prize. Tonight it may be silver. It may be gold. But the real first prize are the experiences you have had, the friends and memories you have made, the love and support of your families, and most importantly, the person you have become along the way. Don't take these gifts for granted tonight or any night. Because, the "things" in life that really matter, aren't really "things" at all.
Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by!