As my time as a University student comes to a close, I bid farewell to my fellow students at Unitec, and to the students who will be leaving St Cuthberts College today for the last time. It has been the most incredibly rewarding experience for me to engage wtih today’s youth. My faith in humanity has been mightily restored, as I have seen the possibilities that lie in our future generations.
So today, I would like to wish you all the most magical futures. It has been a pleasure and an honour to get to know so many of you over the last 3 years. You all give me so much hope for the future. And even though there will be quite a few less rules now – promise me that any you do come across – you will never stop challenging them!! Question everything. Demand an explanation, and if the one you get doesn’t sit well with you – you go right ahead and forge a new way. Your way.
We, the quiet, compliant, lethargic generation before you, became mesmorised by shiny things. We settled so deeply into the beams of televised drama and fabricated news – that we lost our passion for truth. Please don’t follow us into such oblivion. Shine. And then shine even brighter again. People will underestimate you every day. Never allow their shortsightedness to blind you to your own magnificence.
Around you, people are waking up. You will recognise the fire in their eyes – because it matches your own. Dance with them and never let your own fires be extinguished. Nor should you allow adulthood to demand that you relinquish that righteous call for justice that you have been heralding throughout your youth. You are right young ones – things are crazy out here – so please feel free to push forward and fix as much of it as you wish. We need you to.
I’m trusting that your souls are not for sale, and that you will not be bribed by consumer toys, quite as easily as we were. Never be tricked into believing any other item is more precious than your freedom.
And I pray that you will never become complacent. This earth is very fragile. Save her – and she will offer you all the bounty you will ever need.
I wish you all every conceivable joy. I am enriched by the friendships I have gained with many of you, and I look forward to those continuing ‘beyond school’. I cannot wait to see what unfolds for each of you. If ever the world should get you down – there will always be a hand available here to lift you back up. I can promise you, even on the darkest night, the sun is shining somewhere – and I will help you find it if you ever get lost.
So to close, well – it goes without saying, but I will say it anyway – if you are ever really confused, and aren’t sure what the right thing to do is – just remember the one and only action that will always be the right one : BE KIND.