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County Supervisor addressing high school graduates

Good evening everyone. 

 

I have some good news and some good news for this year's graduates! The first good news is... I'm not here to lecture you on how easy you have it, or how you're all spending too much time using your devices. After all, my generation invented them, and they were invented to be used.

 

So, I have a slightly different message today. Yes, the world has changed since I was your age, and there are limitless changes still to come. But I want to just remind us all of the things that have stayed the same, the things that should never change.

 

First, hard work pays off. It always has, and it always will. Take it from this trailer park kid who pulled up his own bootstraps. If you are willing to listen and learn and apply yourself, you'll get to places you can't see from here. The beauty of rapid advancement and technology is that we don't know what will be possible in the future.  I've exceeded my own wildest dreams because life brought me opportunities that I simply couldn't have planned for.  I'm not saying you shouldn't have a dream. It's great to have something you're passionate about.  I'm saying if you're open-minded, you will find yourself at the receiving end of opportunities that you never could have dreamed of, because they just don't exist yet, but they will in your lifetime. 

 

Secondly, your sense of self-worth, your definition of success, your identity, should come from within. Sure it's great to have 60,000 Instagram followers and a public image that rivals Selena Gomez, but that's not who anyone really is. Success is much simpler than our overwhelming world makes it seem.  True success comes when you're lying in your bed at night, alone with your thoughts, and you ask yourself, how do I feel about the person I was today? Whether it's how you handled a conflict with a friend, or it's spending an extra hour studying for that killer exam and then acing it, or it's listening to a homeless person tell you a story that changes your perspective a little bit. Success and self-worth are right at your fingertips. All you have to do is choose to be the best version of yourself every day, and you will not only sleep well at night, you'll excel in life. 

 

And the other good news is, you don't have to look very far for opportunities. There's a great life to be had right here. You already live in a vibrant, safe, thriving community that has just as high a demand for skilled trades as we do for Executives and PhDs. Look around. Construction, urban development, real estate, medical and home care, not to mention our tourism appeal. All these sectors are rapidly growing right here and they are in great need of your skills, your ideas, and your hard work. I mean we even have a Walgreens now. Things are booming, as the city slickers say. You don't have to go looking for greener pastures. 

 

You've been born into a noisy, distracted global society that often makes you feel less than what you know in your heart is genuine success and happiness. Define it for yourself, whether it's big or small, whether it's near or far. If you stay true to your core and you're willing to have an open mind every day, to listen and learn, you'll be amazed at what can be achieved. You're the generation that understands that no matter how rapidly things change, the fundamentals stay the same. 

 

As you venture forward, whether to college, or technical school, or straight into the workforce, know that we are proud of you, we have confidence in you, and we believe this community is in good hands with the leadership that you are going bring.

 

Congratulations and I wish you all the best. 

~ Trust your instincts ~

Copyright Rachel Landry Writing 2020