Monday, June 4, 2012

putting a brave face on things

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A spate of weekend high school graduations in this neck of the woods left headline writers gasping for air and grasping at straws in this morning's local newspaper:

"'Tomorrow, we begin anew' Northampton grads ready to take on world"

"'Education can change your life, but you have to let it'"

"Saluting high-achievers"

"It all turned out all right"

"Small town values, close connections"

"'You have brains in your head'"

"'Never lose the hunger'"

"Grads urged to rely on faith, courage"

All graduation sentiments are the same, but headline writers have to make them seem unique. Been there, done that ... and it's no picnic.

Reading what amounted to these best wishes for a happy and successful future reminded me a bit of summertime swimming in a wonderful lake. On the surface, the water is cool and refreshing and a delight to swim in. And yet, when treading water further from shore, the feet can feel a whole new universe of seriously cold water five or six feet down.

The future cannot be seen or known and yet everyone enjoys a cheerful bit of encouragement. But the louder anyone cheers, the more simultaneously aware they become of the facts out of reach.

Whether assured and optimistic or shivering with uncertainty, still the water below asserts itself and the future simply cannot be known.

Welcome, all graduates, to the real world ... a world in which the moment imposes a complete confidence, however riven with uncertainties.
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