• 57°

Sharon Randall: It's up to you now, grads

By Sharon Randall
To the Class of 2012: Today, when you marched in here, you were not alone. You carried on your shoulders the hopes and dreams and love of a great many people: Your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, teachers, coaches, neighbors and friends.
They’ve all had a hand in helping you grow up and they will always help you, if they can. But one thing will change when you leave here today: From now on, you alone will be in charge of your life. You alone will decide what to do with it.
Officially, you’re one of us now: God help you, you’re a grown-up.
You can’t control all the things that will happen in your future. And you can’t change the things that happened in the past. But you can choose what you will do with those things and how you let them shape you. After today, there will be only one person to credit or blame for your life: You. You have your mother’s smile and your father’s eyes, but your life is all your own.
That is your graduation gift: Your life. I hope you like it. If it doesn’t fit, exchange it for one that does. Be the person you want to be. Live the life of your dreams. Starting now.
I’d like to offer you some tips from my grandmother. I call it “Things my grandmother said, or would have, if she’d thought of them.”
1. When you meet people, shake hands and look them in the eye and they’ll say nice things about you at your funeral.
2. If you’re going to tell a lie, tell one that people will believe. That way, you’ll only be known as a liar and not a lying fool.
3. Look after living things: Take care of your animals, water your garden, be kind to children and old folks.
4. Never pretend to be what you aren’t or to know what you don’t know. People can forgive ignorance, but they never forget a phony.
5. Be true to your faith and practice what you preach; in the eyes of God, the only thing worse than a heathen is a hypocrite.
6. Don’t dip snuff around people who make you laugh. It’s like “don’t spit in the wind,” but it’s more about the kind of company you keep than the kinds of things that you do.
7. Never be rude. If you slip, apologize at once. Say it like you mean it: “I apologize for my rudeness.” The only thing worse than rude is tacky, and God forbid that you ever be tacky.
8. Avoid confrontation in the heat of anger, especially with members of your immediate family. Remember that in some states, “he needed killing” is not a justifiable defense.
9. If you have to swallow a frog, don’t look at it too long before you put it in your mouth; and if you have to swallow two frogs, go for the bigger one first.
10. Never say anything behind people’s backs you don’t want to say to their faces. They’re sure to hear about it unless they’re dead, and you should never speak ill of the dead unless they’ve got it coming.
11. Don’t start doing anything that you aren’t willing to keep doing forever. And never try to finish what shouldn’t have been started in the first place.
12. Finally, lead an interesting life, whatever that may be. To settle for anything less would be way worse than tacky.
Perhaps you’ve been told the world is in such a mess that you and your friends can’t do much to change it. Don’t believe it.
This is your turn to shine, and shine you will. When you hear people say, “What’s this world coming to?” tell them that it is coming to you.
• • •
Contact Sharon Randall at www.sharonrandall.com. This column is taken from a graduation speech she has presented numerous times and incorporates material she has used in her column previously.

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs