Tonight I had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremonies at Pendleton County High School. Perhaps the part I enjoyed the most was listening to the prepared speeches given by the various salutatorians and valedictorians [what happened to the days of one salutatorian and one valedictorian?]. I must say I was impressed. And I must admit that I chuckled as I considered what kind of speech I would have delivered as an 18 year old senior [In case you were wondering I wasn’t valedictorian – not even close].
As typically happens though - after 59 speeches, 190 diploma hand shakes, and a gym that has been transformed into a giant sauna, the people are bound to get a little squirmy. It was during these awkward few minutes that the principal [bless his heart] attempted to deliver his parting words to the seniors. They weren’t listening, but I was. The part that struck me odd was when he said, “Strive for excellence, not perfection.”
He meant well but I have to say I disagree. I mean, I’m all for excellence, but why can’t our goal be perfection? Is it impossible to strive for both? I think not. In fact, I believe it was Jesus who said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) I know it’s a lofty goal, and it may be unattainable, but my advice to any senior [or anyone reading this blog] would be to shoot for the stars. Lock in on perfection and chase it with all you’ve got! Why waste your time with anything less.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, the class of ’93 is out.