It’s late June, and that means for the last month, speeches will have been ringing in the ears of graduates from coast to coast to mark graduation. Thursday night will be the same as Darien High School seniors graduate.
Students will see various notables from public office, humanities, successful business people, community leaders and celebrated alumni reach within their life experience to provide guidance to a new generation. This new generation needs the benefit of hearing about experience, entering a world without such knowledge and background. Some of the more powerful and prominent will be shared on social media for all to view.
And is it useful? Sure it is.
But maybe, just maybe, the world needs something else right now.
Less experience, and more innocence.
Less knowledge, and more open-mindedness.
Maybe what we need now is, instead, to learn from the graduates.
Class of 2018, in Darien and beyond, teach us, who have lived a decade or decades more beyond you.
Show us what the world looks like through your eyes, which have not seen what we have seen, and your mind, which has not galvanized opinions that we have had years to reinforce.
Help us see humanity with a heart that is not as jaded as many of ours have become.
Give us the freedom of a soul which sees the future as one of immense possibility and joy.
Class of 2018, listen to your speeches and take the benefit of the adults in your life who certainly have guidance to provide.
But keep in mind, as a privilege and not a burden, that we need you more than you need us now.
You are what our world is to become — you have the change in your hands that can steer us to our full potential. Your optimism is our best weapon against the despair.
Lead us from the anger, the hatred, the violence — and help us believe that world is possible.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018.
As you take your next steps, hold onto tightly to that hope that flames within — the hope that those who have come before you desperately need today.