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Dear Graduate,

The Way I See It

June 1, 2014
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Well, you finally made it. Do you remember your first day of Kindergarten? Probably not but your folks do. Tears flowed from their eyes as they took your picture. You had on your new school clothes, that brand new back pack and you were ready to face the world. Seems like eons ago and that the time would never speed up. Kindergarten, first grade, second grade..."when will all this end?" Well, my dear Graduate, it just ended-or perhaps just began. It's not the end, that's for sure; it's just the beginning.

Onward to college, Armed Forces or getting a job. The door to the world is open and your choices are yours. You are now an adult! All that stands between you and the top of the proverbial ladder is the ladder. But trust your parents, grand-parents, employers, teachers and just about everyone else who's "been there and done that," THE TASSLE'S WORTH THE HASSLE.

So from one of your elders, (gulp, never thought I'd ever say that), here is some advice from a 1969 High School Graduate:

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Everything you do will be based on choices YOU make. Not your parents, past relationships, your job, the economy, weather, your age or even where you live. You and only you are fully responsible for every decision & choice you make. "Think" young graduate and make wise choices.

Perfection simply does not exist. Try hard, make a mistake or two and then get up and try again. Don't just watch life pass you by.

Know this-It's not the world's job to make you happy or successful. That's your job. The world doesn't owe you anything.

Friends will come and go but family is forever. Stay close to them and love them to pieces. One day they will be gone.

Always, always, always BE KIND! Kindness in life is the greatest investment you can make.

Speaking of being kind: From first-hand knowledge, be real kind to your knees.You'll miss them.

As you get older, surprisingly you'll find out your parents are actually getting smarter.

Stay out of negative environments and negative people.

Don't ever leave a birdie putt short.

Learn to forgive others and along the way, forgive yourself. Remember, no one's perfect.

This is not super-profound, but saying "Please, Thank-you, I'm sorry, excuse me, you're welcome & you look very nice today" will make life so much easier for you.

God gave you a purpose in life. Don't settle for less or give up until you find your purpose.

Honesty can solve just about any problem.

Clint Eastwood said, "Go ahead, make my day." Every day, make someone else's day by doing them a kindness just because. It'll really make their day.

Now read this one very slowly: When you're with people, (friends, relatives, etc), give them your full attention and not the TV, your phone or some other media device. That's just rude!!

And finally, trust in a higher power! I call him by name, "Abba, Father."

Graduates-you are all at the starting gate. All pretty much on the same level playing field. Wonder how things will be at your five-year reunion? Change your corner of the world for the better. That's The Way I See It. Let me know what you think at or call me at 319-327-4640.

Be blest and bless someone else today.



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