fictional speech - class 2009
Today, you stand before family and friends, ready to embark on a new phase of your life.
All you have gone through has been in preparation for this moment, when you graduate from university and become once again a student of Life. And Life is a hard teacher, always giving drop quizzes when you least expect them, and changing the rules as soon as you get comfortable. Life is a challenge, a riddle, and it will take all your strength to figure it out.
You see, up till now, you had everything planned out; you were going to work hard, go to classes, meet people, and make friends. You were living up to other people's expectations, and now it is time to set your own. What will be the milestones that define your existence, and what cause will you passionately strive for?
People often make the mistake of judging their success in life by the career titles they accumulate, the car they drive, where they live, or what people say about them. They judge themselves through other people's eyes and they are always found lacking. They think they can always do it better, buy a later version, or be seen at a trendier restaurant. Yet, they are rarely satisfied, and are always lacking self-esteem, because they have not defined what they stand for, and as the saying goes, "if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything."
So I stand before you here today to tell you to fill your hearts with enthusiasm and your minds with reason, and use them to navigate through the new adventures that are beckoning. Conquer your fears and do not allow them to keep you from achieving your full potential.
Stop for a moment to imagine the world without Steve Jobs, Mother Theresa, Gibran or Thomas Edison. They faced adversity and criticism but they didn't allow that to affect their state of mind or the strength of their conviction; and thanks to their vision, perseverance, and courage, the world is now a much better place.
These are just a few examples of the pioneers who heralded new beginnings. They have stood the test of time and will be forever remembered as having made a difference, as their names are carved in humanity's collective consciousness.
Therefore, as you embark on this new adventure, which is the rest of your life, take a moment to reflect on what you hold dear, and how you want to leave this world a better place. Balance you life with work, family, friends, and hobbies, and always be open to embrace the winds of change. And most importantly, take charge of your future, and hold yourself to the highest standards, and know that your contribution, no matter how small, will make a difference.