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Keep pushing forward, graduates

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”

Graduation day can be a roller coaster of emotions for graduates and family members.

For some, you can’t wait to start your next chapter.

For others, it’s bittersweet and maybe even a little scary.

The past few weeks and the weeks to come have been filled with class days, baccalaureates, graduations, parties and recognition at local churches.

W.S. Neal seniors graduated last night, Flomaton seniors will walk across the stage Thursday night and T.R. Miller seniors will get their diplomas on Friday.

Graduation is much more than just pomp and circumstance. It’s an accomplishment that should come with a lot of pride.

It’s easy these days to assume that everyone graduates from high school. That’s not true.

For some students, they face very difficult circumstances that make the task of graduating very difficult, and others barely scrape by.

Perhaps, you are one of those who barely scraped by or had obstacles that made graduating difficult for you, tomorrow is a new chapter.

You can change your life. You can have the life you dream.

If it takes you longer than others, don’t worry. Don’t judge your success by others’.

Take some advice from Dr. Seuss.

I’m sorry to say 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.

Only you know your timeframe and what challenges lie ahead for you, but the important thing is to never stop pursuing your dreams not matter how big or small they are.

Find something that you love.

It’s a lot easier to get up in the morning and go to work when you love what you do.

Take some advice from an older generation.

Booker T. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.”

Richard Bach once said, “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”

Friedrich Nietzche famously said, “What does not destroy me, makes me strong.”

Each of you are strong. Each of you will make your own path. When the going gets tough, keep pushing forward. Only forward, never backward.