My alma mater called and requested that I give an inspirational speech during the graduation rites of its Grade School Department. Odd.
A week before, I made a self-assessment and determined I wanted more training / experience in public speaking. Hmmm… What can I say? The universe will conspire to get you what you want, when you want it. That is, immediately, or almost immediately. Let me share with you the text of my speech.
Beloved director, principal and members of the faculty, proud parents, and above all, the graduates. My congratulations. I imagine that you are excited at graduating, a little scared of going to highschool, sad about saying goodbye to friends and teachers, and excited about the summer. I also felt the same way when I was 12. Looking at your faces, at this school, at the teachers, I realize that everything has changed. And nothing has changed. But let me tell you, tomorrow will be the beginning of one of the most wonderful, memorable, exciting part of your lives.
So let me speak to you now as someone speaking to another who is starting on the most wonderful journey. But you have to listen, and you have to listen hard, because I am going to tell you some of the secrets to success. They are growth, generosity, gratitude and love of God. You can call them the 4 G’s. And they are the secrets to success. The first is GROWTH.
Let me tell you about growth by telling you about Mulan. You all know Mulan’s story. She wanted to defeat the Huns but she was a girl who did not know how to fight. She could not even carry a weapon! But she did not let that stop her. She practiced until she got so tired she could not practice anymore. The next day, she got up and practiced, she got beat up but she practiced, left hanging on a pole but practiced, got buried in snow but practiced. Before she knew it, she was China’s hero. What am I trying to say? The next years of your life will determine your future. Make the next years one of...
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