This week my daughter, along with nearly 3.5 million other students, will graduate from high school in the United States.
Think about that number for a minute…this is the equivalent of graduating the entire population in city of Los Angles (3.8 million), the second largest city in the United States. While we might consider this as rite of passage of sorts, this is one of the single most amazing accomplishments we as a nation complete each year. We as a society literally birth – of push – another city of people out into the world.
These days sitting down with my daughter for a conversation is like trying to catch a hummingbird in a flower garden. Life is opening up around her and she is trying to reach out, touch, and absorb it all. And if we are honest, so did most of us at her age.
That said, I want to share a few thoughts that – if she ever sits down one day in the future to read this – she’ll understand why we as parents universally care so much for them.
First of all, understand we’ve been there. I know, we may not act like it or look like your friends, but odds are we did many of the very same things or faced the similar situations. Just because we have mortgages and 401K plans does not mean we’re robots – we made choices along the way. And believe it or not, we made lots of mistakes.
We want you to succeed. We also understand we need to let you make mistakes. What we pray is your mistakes will be those you can pick yourself up, dust off the dirt, and move on. We’ve all seen others in our lives make mistakes that changed their lives in a bad way – and they never rebounded. So please understand we’re not interested in being in your business all the time – parental love just has a way of making you care in ways you’ve not yet learned.
Remember, you were born with a clean slate and good name. Your reputation will eventually precede you in life – not the other way around. Making every decision you face with this in mind will help navigate life during cloudy or uncertain times. Trust your gut – your head and heart can easily be misled in life.
In the end, remember, we as parents love you unconditionally. No matter what anyone else tells you, remember we’ll always be here to support and help you through life. But also remember, this rule does not apply to money. One is pure while the other is just a tool we all need to get through life. From experience we know there is no such thing as too much love. On the, other hand we’ve all seen how too much money can damage you and your drive at this point in your life.
So as you and the 3.5 million others join step into the adult world, remember there is no one in the world that cares for you more than your parents. We love you. Then rest of your life, however, is pretty much dependent on you and your cumulative decisions. Go make the most of life and remember to send us an occasional postcard.
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