On Mondays, I write about whatever pops into my head during the dreaded first commute of the week. Today, the entirety of my morning commute was wrapped in a goofy, ear to ear grin. Smiling away like a Cheshire cat.
I’m quite sure that you would have recognized me, as I was the ONLY Monday morning commuter smiling so widely. Seemed to be quite a bit of hatred trapped in motorized vehicles this morning, EVERYBODY was looking like they were itching to start a street fight or ram the car in front of them.
I just felt good this morning; silly, punch drunk hung over from two college graduation parties I attended yesterday. No, Mom, I wasn’t literally hung over from too much drink; I was hung over with pride.
Both of the individuals being celebrated had come through some pretty tough times to earn their paper; and knowing that their difficult circumstances would have made a lesser person crumble, I felt overwhelmingly blessed to know them and to share with them this incredible day.
At times I have been disillusioned by the state of education in our country-the inequities, the shortcomings, the failures, and the injustices. Yesterday, my confidence was restored.
Education is transformative. It changes lives. It has the power to take the underdog, the broken, the lost, and the insecure to a place of security, of power, of confidence, and achievement.
I speak to you today as one of the formerly lost, as one of the once broken, as one of the onetime insecure. I speak as one who was saved by the great power that is knowledge and learning.
Education saved me.
That is why I smile today from the depth of my soul.
Congratulations to all who are graduating this spring, and to the families and loved ones they carry across that stage with them. I am so proud of each of you. Promise yourselves you will never stop learning. There is always more to know.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for instilling in me the value of education. It truly is the greatest lesson you’ve ever given me. Let’s go get that PhD!