Graduation Day, of sorts...

Today was a Graduation Day, of sorts...a transition for a group of young people from their childhood to adulthood. Moving as young adults, away from a community that they have built, that they continue to influence. Some, in society, may not take complete notice of them. Some of them are in wheelchairs, others have an irregular gait, others still are shy and intimidated by those around them. This community they have built, look at them with an entirely different set of eyes...these young adults are their future leaders. These are the young people that are making a difference in their communities, their world. Each of them has touched this larger community in so many ways.

I do not know all of them well, but I have had the pleasure, over the years, to know a few of them, and I need to tell you, my life is enriched by them. One young woman, a senior next year, will be the president at her high school. She is a dynamic young woman...beautiful and smart, she recently went to visit colleges in California, any of which would be lucky to have her. She, like my daughter, is the only girl in a family of boys, so I know a bit how her mother feels...they have a connection similar to my daughter and I. She has met challenges that have her rocking a wheelchair in her late teens and that does not slow her down. Her dazzling smile and amazing personality is what captures your heart from the beginning...only later do you see her chair, but in only moments, you see that it does not take away, but rather enhance her amazingness.

Another of these amazing young people is a young man who will be finishing his senior year after one semester. He and I had the opportunity to talk where he shared about his plans of spending six or more months at an orphanage in Mexico after his mid-year graduation. "Maybe I'll spend six months, maybe more," he stated, "After all, I have all the time in the world." He has younger brother that will continue to be an active participant in this community and, I must say, from the outside, these are two of the finest young men I have had the opportunity to meet. The older one, the graduate, is one that will definitely be impacting many lives...he already has his plan in place and, I believe, it is just the beginning.

I could go on and on about this community and the impact that they have had on my life and the lives of so many others, but the biggest lesson that I am reminded of is the importance of community. Sometimes when we are hurt or frustrated, we believe that we can go it alone, but we really can't. Having a sense of community is so important, feeling a part of something is crucial to our soul's survival. Each one of us should look within ourselves and ask what we are bringing to the table of our own community...what do we have to offer? For the community to grow and thrive, we all must do our part. Each one of us will have our own graduation day, of sorts, and we must ask ourselves...what do I leave behind?

These two young adults will leave behind a legacy...a legacy of caring about others, creating a place where all are accepted, friendship, laughter, and fun. This has become their starting place...they will bring these things and so much more the the future communities of their lives...

As we each look at the communities of our own lives, I would say that we all hope that we can bring at least a similar legacy to ours...

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