As I watched the grads sitting there all in black, roasting in the early afternoon sun, I thought back to my own graduation. I don't even know why I went. Probably because I had family coming. All I wanted was that piece of paper so I could get the hell out. 16 plus years of being part of the educational system was enough for me. I wanted to go out into the world and be free!
Little did I realize that the world was even more controlled as was the education system. Free thought? A joke, unless you supported the status quo/the way things are. Freedom of choice? Not really. The truth as I discovered was freedom to choose from a limited number of options. In short, I was told "No" a lot; and my personal favorite "sorry, that's just how things are."
I looked at these young faces, some looking bored, some looking tired, others smiling. But in all of their faces I could see one thing: Hope.
College is a sort of security blanket. And when venturing out into a very unforgiving system, I wondered how many, like myself, will suddenly start to miss that security blanket. Some will find a place to fit in. Other's won't. That's how the system has been designed. Success for some, certainly not for all. Self-empowerment certainly has it's place, in that it can keep you believing in yourself and fighting for the life you envision for yourself. However, it isn't enough.
Isn't it time for something new? Isn't it time for true freedom? Isn't it time for unlimited options for all? Isn't it time for so many of these archaic, draconian laws and rules to be abolished so that those who want to live a life different than the status quo are given the freedom and support to do so?
Sliding scale fees on all goods and services. A belief system that embraces all as equal and worthy. A myriad of housing choices. Bartering. Government's sole role being to ensure "the system" provides basic freedoms such as ownership of land and house, education, health care, clean air and water, healthy, abundant food. In short, all of our needs are provided for and met, through our own efforts and through the efforts and assistance of others. A world where no one goes without. It's possible. It's possible when there's hope.
Which is why my wish for the graduates is to never lose sight of that starry-eyed optimism, to never lose sight of hope. If they're not careful, the system can crush it. Keep the hope alive kids!