Graduation Speech: It's All About Us!


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Hello Class of 2012!

I assure you that no matter what your parents are thinking—which is something along the lines of, "I did a great job with him or her"—their conceited thoughts are irrelevant to this occasion. It's not about them; it's about us.

Contrary also to what the board members (who you'll see today for the first and last time) believe, that they've earned the right to hand us our diplomas due to their perfect decision making (comedic stare and pause), this moment is also not about them; but again, about us.

Then, in opposition to what every lawyer and doctor, teacher, business owner, and worker in general is thinking—which is something along the lines of, "blah blah blah, I remember my graduation"—they're just daydreams. This is not about them either; it's about us.

And when we leave this place to pursue separate ambitions, the attention will never fade, the hate will never subside, the mountains will increase without fail. No matter how many people have blazed a path, rivers will not part, expectations will not reduce and therefore it will still be about us.

And though we continue to grow even after being handed the diploma, to understand life, and choices, the opposite sex, the pressure of here and now, the strain placed on us from long ago, and the demands that our future will fire upon us, there will be close calls, fatalities, elation, affliction, and joy. And thus, it will remain about us.

When others see us they see half of us in jail, some of us unemployed, some pregnant currently or in a month or two. They see too many blacks or too many Latinos or too many whites or Asians or Native-Americans for us to make anything of ourselves. While these thoughts are derogatory, the fact is they are still about us.

When we, however, see ourselves, we see doctors, lawyers, preachers, presidents, teachers, and outstanding members of their fields and society in general, and what we think has been and will be the only thing that matters; because what we think was created by us.

And we break the statistics that say this many go to jail and this many become pregnant. And we reconcile stereotypes that encourage different members of society to refrain from interacting with other members of society, and we become the long awaited for female or Black president, the owners of this and the CEO of that.

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The unimportant others will work for us.

We will then be at a graduation, like this one, where we will hold our heads high because we will have created such a world for those in chairs like you're sitting today; that they will look up to us and say thank you.

To the crowd: Thank you for all you do and have done, for being an influence and a guidance. And it will, at that moment, still be about us.

A seat in an auditorium is merely a symbolic celebration of thirteen years of work, but such a celebration makes us no different from any high school. What does makes us different and what makes it all worth it is what we do upon exiting this building.

I invite you to make the world recognize Connally's Class of 2005. I invite you to make studying worth it by using methods learned to further your education.

Make testing worth it by defeating every test and remaining passionate, yet under control, every time you're tested.

Make applying worth it by staying focused. Apply yourselves for it's when your entire being is committed to something that it is easily accomplished.

Make the worksheets worth it by not taking for granted the small things and lessons that help prepare you for larger projects and lessons.

While we make this journey there will be those who have nothing better to do than discourage us. They'll tell us, "You don't deserve what we've gotten," "You can't accomplish that." And yes, it's all because they are envious, or they want something out of our non-ensuing failure. But let me tell you why.

Everything we will ever want we will get, anything we touch will prosper, everyone we meet will want our autograph. But it's primarily because, regardless of circumstances, past situations, or future occurrences, it will still be about us.

Thank you.


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