To continue our Graduation Week posts, I wanted to share this wonderful short poem from Donald Kaag, a high school teacher from Moscow, Idaho. He shared it at a high school graduation in 2006, the year he was retiring. These were his final words to his students and I think they are applicable to all of us:
I’d wish you a nice life
If I didn’t care about you so much…
What I wish for you is freezing cold
So you will appreciate warmth.
So food will taste wonderful when you get it.
So that when you find a true friend you will appreciate
The work and the difficulty of earning…and keeping…friendship.
And love again…
That you find something so precious you would give your life for it,
And then the sense…the heart…to live for it.
I wish you fear
So you can confront it, conquer it.
And a life lived…earned…
A life of challenge and caring
Despite the cost
Giving your best,whatever it takes
Standing for what you believe in…whatever it is.
Giving more than you take
I wish you to brave the storms of life
Pay the cost in wounds…tears…scars
And I wish you the most precious gift you can ever possess…
The character you fabricate along the way.
Don’t have a nice life My Kiddos
Build a good one.