This is always a wonderful time of the year. With spring comes the feeling of renewal and with graduations, a sense of accomplishment as young people -- and some not quite so young -- graduate and move on to another stage in their lives. Their enthusiasm is infectious. Their optimism breeds hope. Their excellence gives one confidence about the future of our community and our country.
      The advice that I would give graduates is born as much from my failures in life as it is from the success I have experienced.
      The first thing to remember is to keep your value base. Whether it is Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and others -- keep it close to your heart and soul. It is your values and moral rudder that will see you through in this life. There are many temptations in this world. You will experience the deadly vices of greed, envy, and so on. Resist these while still enjoying life.
      Don't ever forget where you came from. While you will be entering a new stage in your life, remember that it is family and community that have nurtured you so far and, in the end, it will be family and the long-term friendships that you have developed that will be there as you face the pitfalls in life. As you become older, you will be able to appreciate how precious these things are.
While it is important that you strive to get ahead in this world, remember that money is not everything. Do not let money become the god that you worship. Money and the things that you do with it have their place in this world. However, when it becomes the motivator in your life, it can imprison and enslave you. In certain respects, money is power because it allows you to do things in life and have some control over your life. Just don't let it have power over you. Keep it in perspective and then go for it.
      Money can't buy you everything in the world. It really can't buy you true love and lasting friendships because, in the words of Billie Holliday, "Once the money's gone, they won't be coming around no more." Clearly keep in mind what your money is buying for you and what is real in your life.
      Live for today, but also plan for tomorrow. There is no guarantee that you will be here tomorrow. Live each day fully. Enjoy life as you proceed with your career. But that doesn't mean that you should squander the resources that God has given you. One of the primary means of accumulating wealth and preparing for retirement is owning your own home or condo. Owning a home can provide you with stability and a cushion to see you through the hard times. And passing a home on to the next generation is a good way to help that next generation take it to the next level.
      Remember that the old adage "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" definitely applies in this world. As you make your way in the world and you start to rise in your career, be respectful of the people around you, and, most importantly, those underneath you. Loyalty still counts in this world. And loyalty breeds loyalty. How you treat other people in the workplace will ultimately determine how you are treated. Don't let the jerks of the world make you into a jerk. Remain true to yourself.
      Relationships are the most important thing in life because most everything else becomes worn and meaningless over time. It is your relationships that will sustain you. It is your relationships that will give your life meaning over time. It is the people in your life who will be there for you when you are down. They will share your joys and sorrows. And please, don't ever take them for granted because they can be taken from you at any time. Again, tomorrow is promised to no one. We can be here today and gone tomorrow, literally.
      While failure hurts like almost nothing else in this world, all of us fail at something during our lives. While you should do all that is ethically possible to not fail, also realize that you are human and nothing is perfect in this world -- including you. If you reach an impasse or do not succeed, step to the side and keep on moving. Never give up. All of us are here today because someone in our past didn't give up against insurmountable odds. Remember that it is within you to succeed.
       Always keep in mind that life rarely turns out the way we planned it. I never thought or dreamed that I would be publishing a newspaper back when I was in college. For many of us, we have careers in fields that we didn't receive a formal education for. While you should always have a dream and a desire for what you want out of life, it isn't the end of the world if it doesn't work out just like you had planned it. Most people will have to go back to school to learn how to do other things at some point during their careers. The economy -- increasingly becoming globally-oriented -- is quickly evolving and will eliminate some jobs and create others during your lifetime. The important thing is to keep hope alive and your dreams intact. Go with the flow as long as it doesn't lead you down an immoral path.
      There many other things that I could tell you, but I will keep them for another time. Relish your accomplishment as a graduate because it is one of the most important things you will achieve in your life and will open doors heretofore closed to you. Enter that doorway of opportunity with confidence. You can do it. Yes, you can!
May 31, 2006
stories/columns


*
What do you call???
by Dr. Paul Barrows

*
Doyle rechaza propuesta anti-inmigrante,
by Alfonso Zepeda-Capistran

Asian Wisconzine: AIA honors graduates, achievers,
by Heidi M. Pascual
(
www.asianwisconzine.com)

The Governor's Special Minority Business Awards,
by Jonathan Gramling

Henry Sanders announces for the 81st District,
by Jonathan Gramling

*
Christopher O'Choa: From prison to graduation,
by Laura Salinger

*
Tenia Jenkins:  In a blaze of glory for the children,
by Jonathan Gramling

The joy and power of selfish, selfLESS living,
by Tracie Gilbert

*
Evenements (de la Musique),
by Ramya Kapadia

*
Voices: Learning life and living it,
by Dr. Jean Daniels

*
Celebracion Latina y Afro-Caribena en la secundaria James C. Wright,
por Elda Gonzalez

*
Scott Beard honored as outstanding Indian educator,
by MATC

* UW-Madison graduates make diversity a priority,
by Ben Freund

Campus-Community Connection,
by Keme Hawkins and Pam Pfeffer

Herzing College's China Abroad Program,
by Jonathan Gramling

and more!!
VOL. I No. 6                                        May 31, 2006
Graduation and excellence
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
        
          Words of Advice
Special Feature:
The 2006 HUES Row of distinction (Students of Color graduates with 3.0 and above GPA)
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