There’s a saying, “All that hard work for a piece of paper?” Congratulations on getting your piece of paper.


Those words seem so trite, and unimportant. Graduation is much more than receiving a piece of paper. Graduation and all that it entails—including “marching across a platform to receive a “piece of paper”—is one of the greatest feats of a lifetime. It is an important accomplishment for everyone involved, not only for the person on the receiving end, but also for the ones witnessing the event.


Everyone loves a ceremony! That’s just a part of one’s humanity. It allows for the celebration and culmination of a job well done. It may be the beginning of a new chapter in the life of some, or the continuation of a chapter for others.


Walking across that platform should not be taken lightly. It symbolizes a culmination and recognition for a humongous amount of stamina, dedication, and perseverance.


It is a tradition that reinforces values such as freedom, faith, integrity, a good education, personal responsibility, a strong work ethic, and the value of being selfless.


A graduation ceremony is a tradition that provides a forum to showcase role models and celebrate the things that really matter in life. Traditions represent a critical piece of our culture. They help form the structure and foundation of our families and our society. They remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. Once we ignore the meaning of our traditions, we’re in danger of damaging the underpinnings of our identity.


Graduates are important and deserve every ounce of recognition they receive. As they become leaders, role models, and parents, they must strive to utilize every opportunity available to them to reinforce the values and beliefs that they hold dear. The alternative to action is taking these values for granted. The result is that our beliefs will get so diluted, over time, that our way of life will become foreign to us. It’s like good health. You may take it for granted until you lose it. If we disregard our values, we’ll open our eyes one day and won’t be able to recognize “our world” anymore. The values that support the backbone of our country, our family, and our faith will have drifted for so long that the fabric of our society will be torn.


To all of the graduates, what you have done helps other people, you are leaving a positive mark on the world, be it big or small. So, here goes with a coined phrase, *squinty eye clenched fist” While you’re “STANDING AT THE TOP”, the world below stands still with a great big shout out.


Congratulations to you who took that walk, whether you marched, stumbled or whatever it took to get there, you did it! And in doing so, I pray you will remember these famous words of Robert Frost.


The Road Not Taken


Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference


  1. Truly inspirational words Ron.
    They should inscribed on the entrances to every college.

    Happy Christmas to you and all your friends and family


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