My oldest son was scheduled to graduate from high school graduation this year. Unfortunately, the Covid -19 virus had other plans. Graduation is canceled until further notice. There would not be an opportunity wear his graduation regalia, walk across the stage to receive his diploma, move his tassel from the right side of his mortar board to the left side of his mortar board, and throw his mortar board up into the night sky with absolute joy.
Mom is here to save the day. She breaks into action by purchasing graduation decorations, purchasing a PA system, designing invitations and preparing an online graduation ceremony. Within a week, she has organized a "virtual" graduation ceremony that everyone (grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends) will be able to attend in the safety of their own home.
The program included Pomp and Circumstance, flag salute, and graduation speeches from mom and dad to the graduate and it all culminated in a "Silly String" fight. Here is a copy of my speech to the my son and the 2020 graduates:
How does a baby screw in a light bulb? The baby holds the light bulb while the world revolves around him.
Likes, hearts, retweets, selfies and the hope of going viral on Tic Tok or becoming an “influencer” is the current measure of success in the world of social media. Let me let you in on a little secret…nobody really cares about you. You are insignificant. As a matter of fact, I’m insignificant. Every single one of us is insignificant, until…
In high school and your 20’s, you worry about what others think of you. In your 40’s you stop worrying about what others think about you and lastly…you know you’ve matured when you recognize nobody ever thought about you in the first place. In psychology, this is called the “Spotlight effect”? Every single one of us is insignificant, until…
There are 7.4 billion people on Earth. And every single one of those 7.4 billion (including me) were either cut out, pulled out or fell out of our mom’s uterus. Therefore, having a birthday is not that special. Heck, thousands will graduate with their Ph. D., tens of thousands will graduate with a BA or MA and millions will graduate from high school this year. Every single one of us is insignificant, until…
One of my favorite writers, Mark Twain said, “"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." My birthday on July 12th. But I also know why I was born. I was born to be a loving husband to my wife Christine, be a father to my sons, be a teacher and mentor for students and actually do things with and for my friends, family and community instead of simply typing “Thoughts and Prayers” on my phone or computer.
Sebastian…and the graduating class of 2020, we only have a limited amount of time on this Earth. Happiness and satisfaction do not come from selfies of the duck lips portrait, the over the shoulder turn and scoliosis of the back or the “hold the phone above my head and let me look sexy picture”. Sebastian and fellow graduates…every single one of us is insignificant. But you will reach true happiness, satisfaction and freedom whey you realize why you were born. This is when you actually become significant. Congratulations to the graduates. Love you Sebastian.
Here is link to the graduation ceremony:
Them moral of this story is...never underestimate the power of Mom. Not even a worldwide pandemic can stop her.
But what the heck do I know...I'm just Joe.
I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend and Biology professor. We are on this Earth for a limited amount of time. Let's think, laugh and love.