Graduation ceremonies are over (pretty much), nearly all the speeches have been made, the mortar boards tossed into the air, the stadiums have emptied and the gifts opened.
NBC Nightly News has a special each year where they feature clips from various graduation speeches made by famous people at prestigious colleges and universities around this great land. This year, however, they also featured a speech given by a high school principal who told his graduating students “You are not special!” He went on to explain why they were not special, how if everyone wins the trophy, nobody really wins. He encouraged toward the end of the speech to really do something of significant in the world. Why? Because they were all special/unique. It was a great speech – at least the part of it that NBC broadcast.
It is easy to forget that we are meant to be unique, a great one-of-a-kind because there is no one in the world who is just like you. Your DNA is unique. Your fingerprints are unique. Your irises are unique. Your feelings and experiences are unique to you in many ways – though others may feel joy, sadness, grief, excitement – the way you feel and perceive them are totally unique to you. We were meant to be unique – who we were created to be. We are not to be clones with no individuality. Yet it is hard, at times, to be individuals because we fear others may not approve of us.
This past Saturday at Sweetwater Creek State Park, we were walking back from our hike when I noticed this leaf laying on the ground. There were no other leaves like it. It intrigued me, so I photographed it. I think it is a brave leaf, not afraid in June to wear fall colors, to be different, to stand alone if need be. I applaud this leaf – and those who are themselves, politely and courteously.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1789, General George Washington was served a new dessert by Mr. Alexander Hamilton: ice cream.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: first manufactured in 1930, the Snickers candy-bar is the #1 selling candy bar in the United States. Yum!