Thoughts from Dr. Joe

I’ve been a teacher since Christ was a corporal, and that’s a long time. After every class, I write my students a letter analyzing the salient points of the lecture. My students call them the ‘stay gold’ letters. I’m told they’ve become collectors’ items.

Graduation is upon us; subsequently I thought I’d write a stay gold letter to the graduates.

The brashness of youth is intoxicating and its beguiling nature compels one to remember younger days. It’s a right of passage; beginning the process of going from crayons to perfume. Falling into the future is life’s most consummate adventure.

Kindly pass these thoughts on to a graduating.

Being a senior is ‘Golden,’ the world is unfolding exponentially. You are empowered by a physicality that makes the impossible, probable. You’ve inherited the earth and everything in it. You are overwhelmed by a sense of freedom, and for a short time this autonomy has little accountability. In the mirror there’s vibrancy and your identity is an image of you unfolding. How lucky you are, the universe has just whispered its secrets in your ear.

But you’re not yet a finished product. Your story is not yet written. Maturity is to create oneself, endlessly. Here’s a hint, you have a divine heritage and are here for noble purposes. Find it! That’s your passion. So what will your story be?

Set sail with little fear as you leave safe harbors for distant ports. What treasures will you find? The first place to look is within. You are Achilles, invincible, for you still believe that nothing is impossible to a valiant heart. Remember! Do, as Achilles didn’t, watch your heel.

The friendships that you have nurtured have reached a heightened sense of connection. Together you are given one last hoorah before you go your separate ways. Mom and dad remain your major source of support and as you fall deeper into life, don’t forget them along the way. Your family is your anchor.

You’ve paid your dues…or so you think. Have fun, be frivolous, cast your fate to the wind, and shout at the moon. The force is with you! Be aware of what you experience, awareness brings appreciation. It’s a part of being gold. Don’t ever be gold and not know that you are. But this will be your fate; it was mine.

You will never pass this way again; so…don’t let it slip away. Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Can Stay Gold” warns: “Nature’s first green is gold…Her hardest hue to hold…Her early leaf’s a flower…but only so an hour…So dawn goes down today… Nothing gold can stay.”

But the poets tell us that that we can stay golden! In their poetry, they have left us directions. Never lose the perspective of hope for it is the ingredient that assures a composing life. Hold on to a sense of wonder for wonder precedes all vision. Don’t become too sophisticated that you lose your ability to believe. Without belief possibility will not exist. Take each day as a blessing because the less of life you take for grated the more of life you will experience. Have faith! Faith is multidimensional for it begins in you and ends in the heavens.

Never, ever, ever, fear failure. Failure is a great teacher. It defines character. So don’t look for the easy path, put yourself in situations that evoke your highest nature. You will find more about yourself as you go along. Be tenacious, don’t quit, and don’t sell out. “Thrust against pain, pain is the purifier.”

Say yes to love, and if love should fail, remember, bitterness and the need to be right make you old before your time.

My high school seniors passing to the future, you probably think these thoughts are about you, don’t you? You’re so vain! But that’s your gift. Staying gold has nothing to do with being young. If you believe in second chances, then the greatest discovery is that we can change our life by changing our attitude.

Stay gold,
Dr. Joe

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