As the graduation period passes I think back to the journey’s beginning, back to the young child not thinking of any responsibility, not worrying about tomorrow.
He was just trying to have as much fun as possible. Life was much simpler then, and a lot happier, not overrun by the chaos of adult or semi-adult life.
Next I look down at large, mildly scared hands. Hands, that are capable of doing great damage and yet at the same time able to do the most delicate work.
Again, thinking of the past, I see the child running to his mothers’ arms after completing a wooden sword, his hands cut and a little bloody from small accidents, but the elation in his eyes and in his demeanor, show that these wounds were nothing.
The reason for his joy is the sword; the newly made toy that he could fight off whole armies with. In the construction of this sword the boy was scraped and cut but not hurt too bad, and he was fiercely proud of this one accomplishment.
This one symbol of his progress into power, his less than subtle way of showing he is a defender of those weaker than him. He may look different now, but deep inside the same passion for lack of a better one-word description, for challenge is still burning. It manifests itself in many different ways.
One way is his sense of loyalty; if you become his friend then you can be sure that he will stand by you in anything, even if he doesn’t completely agree with you. Another is the ability he has to avoid actually hurting any one that is smaller than him when he does have to fight; he prefers
words to breaking bones.
Also his humor, true this doesn’t
sound too much like a defense to anything but, if you can get some one to smile then conflicts are a lot easier to resolve.
All of these can be compared to that wooden sword. All are defenses against a foe that may not be real, but may hurt just as much as if it were. The wooden sword is not of much use now as it was broken long ago, but new ones were made and each one was better than the last. Though they were all wooden and they were all toys they still showed a manifestation of the power that was in the boy’s body.
The boy, not unlike the sword, has had to change and become stronger as the years have gone by, but he has always become better for it; especially when the tasks hurt the worst, because the pain is one of the best teachers one can have. Sometimes the pain is great enough that you want to stop living, or climb into a bottle, but if you pass through and learn from it you will be stronger for dealing with the pain and a better person. As the last of the thoughts pass from my mind and I look and see the people around me new thoughts fill this head. Thoughts of the future and how things will change due to the experiences I’ve had.
I encourage the class of 2006 to do the same kind of self-reflecting, see where you’ve come from then look to the future and see the possibilities before them. I encourage you to make goals, strive for the success you desire. Only by self-reflection can you see the potential that you have. All have the ability to be great but few use that ability. Greatness comes from the ability to learn from the past, live in the present, and create the future.
Class of 2006, remember that you have the ability but it’s up to you to use it
Tim Baldwin is senior at Skyview High School.
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