As a graduation gift to her we got her a Seussism book, a necklace and an adventure bear. Inside the cover of the book we enclosed the following letter.
We are so very proud of you. Now, as you prepare to embark on a new journey–your own journey–we’d like to share one piece of advice we wish we’d learned at your age:
Always remember that adversity is not a detour, it’s the path.
You will encounter obstacles. You will make mistakes. Be grateful for both. Your mistakes and failures will be your greatest teachers. And the only way to not make mistakes in this life is to do nothing, which is the biggest mistake of all.
Your challenges, if you’ll let them, will become your greatest allies. Mountains can crush or raise you, depending on which side of the mountain you choose to stand. All history bears out that the great–those who have changed the world–have all suffered great challenges. And, more times than not, it’s precisely those challenges that, in God’s time, lead to triumph.
Abhor victimhood. Denounce entitlement. Neither are gifts, rather cages to damn the soul. Everyone who has walked this earth is a victim of injustice. Everyone.
Most of all, do not be too quick to denounce your sufferings. The difficult road you are called to walk may, in fact, be your only path to success.
Remember, in the end, it is not the destination, but the manner in which you walked that reveals who you are . Walk well. Walk with love. And as you walk remember, always, that we love you.
With all our affection,
Mom & Dad
( Letter is adapted from a letter written by Richard Paul Evans)
Please feel free to share this letter with the graduate in your life. If you are a graduate reading this letter, I commend you for your persistence to get the job done. I hope you have done the very best that you could have done and make a solid effort to try even harder now that you are starting a life of your own.
The road of life is difficult at best, but as I said before, the difficulties in life make us stronger and will be your greatest teacher.
Don't be afraid to ask for guidance from someone who has "been-there-done-that". Someone you can trust.
In the words of Walt Whitman,
"Now Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find."