It’s that time of year folks! Graduation Season. A time where both young and old come together to celebrate an individual’s accomplishment of receiving an academic degree of diploma. It is both the end of a long road and the beginning of a new journey. Where excitement mixes with apprehension and freedom fuses with greater responsibility.
Graduation Day also means there will be many politicians. ideologues, and political pundits making commencement speeches at High Schools, Colleges and Universities across America giving our young people the worst kind of advice they will ever receive in their newly acquired adult life.
Probably the worst so far is President Obama’s speech to the graduates at Howard University. Here, he laminated on about the warped belief the graduating students of Howard did not earn their degree by hard work or anything they did, but by sheer Luck. They cheered this, you know. They clapped to the sound of their effort and dedication being reduced to a fluke.
How utterly incomprehensible to accuse these young amazing students of nothing more than being fortunate because God decided to smile down upon them with his jaundiced blessings while ignoring others who may have deserved it more. There is nothing like making God out to be an enemy of justice and fairness.
And, there is nothing like guilt and self-reproach to inspire an individual to greatness in life. That was sarcasm, by the way. Honestly, I have never seen this kind of lecturing accomplish anything but eventual antagonism & resentment.
Perhaps I am too old-fashioned and believe in the timeless notion, ‘We Reap What We Sow’, that success is the result of our own efforts, and God is not biased or impartial in his blessings, but just and fair.
Let us spotlight for a few moments on President Obama’s notion of Luck. That you are who you are and where you are because someone else put you there. It was luck, chance, or circumstance and ‘someone else built that, you didn’t make that happen.’
What a self-defeating soul destroying restrictive controlling belief! Perhaps that was the goal. To reduce individuals to little more than Victims of chance and circumstance.
It is unfortunate that President Obama only sees the tip of the iceberg and has no interest at what is underneath. What our President would see if he made a little effort and peaked below the surface of a successful individual would be nothing short of astounding.
He would see things like Dedication. Hard work. Discipline. Disappointment. Sacrifice. Failure. Persistence. Frustration. Faith. Struggle. Determination. Vision.
Regarding luck, James Allen wrote in As A Man Thinketh:
“There is no such things as Luck. The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things (the tip of the iceberg) and not the things themselves (below the surface) talk of luck, of fortune, and chance. They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which individuals have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience. They have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable and realize the vision of their heart.”
Now, that is a speech to inspire an individual to greatness. It does not make you feel guilty for your successes. And, if you believe yourself a failure, trust beyond a shadow of a doubt that with a little faith, a little hard work, a little mental re-direction, and little purpose you can achieve anything you put your heart and mind to.
That you are not a random human being who missed out on God’s blessings, but a thoughtful, intelligent, and gifted creature full of potential and promise. Lifting yourself above the bitterness and anger that comes from being convinced you are unlucky and unworthy takes faith, effort, purpose, and courage.
If you are having a rough go of it, believe also that you are the co-creator of the life you are living and if you feel tossed around and floundering, anchor yourself to the knowledge that luck or chance has nothing to do with your current environment or circumstances, but everything to do with the effort you are putting into it.
It is true that some of us may have to work a little harder to get what others seem to achieve so easily. But, do not be resentful or become indignant of their success. We cannot be happy while we disparage others their joy. We cannot achieve greatness while diminishing the value of individual hard work, conviction, and effort. In truth, there is nothing that a strong faith and unwavering purpose cannot accomplish.
Believe in yourself. Believe in the powers that bestow heavenly blessings equally and without partiality. Ask yourself why politicians want you to lose your faith in God’s fairness to replace it with government’s long history of prejudices and injustices. How did we turn God into a slanted scoundrel and government and politicians into a fair and just
Turn inward and believe you can achieve anything you set your heart and mind to. If your goal is to become a success and you accomplish many great things in life and someone calls it luck, remember: Only the thoughtless, ignorant, and lazy see the effects of things, the tip of the iceberg and never the cause and what is underneath – or within you.
My final advice to the graduating class of 2016:
You are the maker of your character. The molder of your life. The builder of your destiny. Since thought and character are one, think virtuous and inspiring thoughts. Mold your life with thoughtfulness and confidence. Build your destiny upon a foundation of faith and purpose. And, let no one diminish your accomplishments to just luck and heavenly prejudicial blessings. God deserves our gratitude, not our attitude.
And, last but not least. Congratulations Class of 2016!