Final Remarks from the Principal, Dr. Ashley B. Hosey
SCHS Commencement Address for the Class of 2016
Today we find ourselves at the end of one part of our journey and the start of the new part of our journey. Ending one chapter to begin another. Ending one path to start another. This will not be your first time in your life or the last time approaching such a juncture. This will be something that you will do over and over in your life time. Sometimes the moments will be brief, quick and unnoticed without any signal or ceremony. But then there will be moments like today when there is a huge celebration and acknowledgement of your accomplishment.
However one thing that will be consistent about your transition. At these intersections when you leave your past and head to your future, there will always be a gap in your path. Any time you prepare to leave what you know and are familiar with in order to move into something new and unknown. This gap will be there.
The gap represents what you don’t know. It also encompasses your apprehension, your doubt, and your fear. The gap can be small or large, deep or shallow based on the amount of fear, apprehension, and doubt you have about the possible consequences. The longer you stand and stare the bigger it gets in your mind. I say in your mind because it is an illusion. Fear and doubt are illusions.
However in order to move to the new phase in your life. You must get over this gap. You must make it over the gap in order to reach your new promise and opportunities.
In life you will come across people for whom the doubt and fear is too much. They are still standing there at the gap and have been standing there for most of their lives… watching and looking. They are afraid to move forward.
Today I am going to tell you the three things which are required to get to over your gap. The first thing required is that you must leap over the gap. This is called and referred to as a leap of faith. Faith because even though you are unsure of what is to come… you believe that what is coming is better than what is happening now.
In order to make the leap of faith. In order to leap into your promise and fulfill your destiny when the time is right … you must learn to Let GO.
You must let go of all the things which will hold you down and keep you earth bound. In order to step in the promise of your future you must let go of the hindrances of your past and present. You cannot make the leaps of faith carrying unnecessary baggage.
First you must let go of childish thoughts and understanding. When you were a child you spoke, acted and understood as a child but you are no longer children so stop doing childish things. For Example
Remember that broadcasting your problems to the world does not solve them or make them better. You must face your problems not Facebook them. You must solve your problems not snap chat them. Your character and reputation is like a photograph. It is developed in the dark but it is viewed and shown in the light.
You must let go of self-centered thoughts. Out of the millions of people in this state, hundreds of millions of people in this country , the billions of people who inhabit this world, let go of the thought that that the world is somehow ...all about you or that your problems are unique.
Let go of the notion entitlement. The world is not indebted to you and it owes you absolutely nothing. You are entitled to absolutely nothing in this world. In this world and even into the next, if you want it you have to earn it.
Sometimes you have to let go of people, you especially have to let go of STILL people. Who are STILL people? Those are the People who are STILL immature. STILL broke. STILL complaining. STILL ignorant. STILL waiting. And STILL NOWHERE. Let them GO.
When you learn to let go, you find that it is easier to make the leaps of faith because you will be lighter. But sometimes in addition to being able to leap you will need something else.
To be honest, there will times in your life when things do not go as planned. There will be times when you trip and stumble and you will be full of doubt. You may find yourself at the edge of possibilities but you are reluctant, resistant or just refusing to make the leap forward. Those are the times that you need a gentle push. The 2nd thing that you will need to move into your promise will be a push. Love pushes you.Over 12 years at some point you have been pushed.
In those moments when you didn’t want to go to school. You received a PUSH
When you didn’t want to do your classwork. You received a PUSH
When you didn’t want to go to practice or rehearsal. PUSH
When you didn’t want to fill out those college & scholarship applications. PUSH
In those moments when you made a mistake and wanted to quit. PUSH
When you didn’t want to do course extension so you could graduate. PUSH
And even now as some of you secretly hesitate wondering what is next and wanting quietly to stay in your comfort zone but today you are receiving a PUSH.
But even in a future time from now when you are still doubtful about moving ahead. The 3rd thing that you will need is a reminder. You will need to be reminded of who you are and who you can be. Let your principal serve as your reminder and let my voice serve as your encourager. When your haters tell YOU CAN’T! Hear me say YOU CAN. When they say YOU WON’T. Hear me say YOU WILL. When they say NOT YOU. Hear me say YES YOU. When they say you will FALL. Hear me say you can FLY. When they say STAY. Hear me say GO. When they say STOP. HEAR ME Yell LEAP!!!
Class of 2016 you have great futures and destinies ahead of you but to claim them you have to be willing to leap, allow yourself to be pushed, and remember who you are! Now Class of 2016, It has indeed been my Honor and I am very Proud to have been your Principal but our time together at South Cobb has come to an end. I will miss you. But it is time .It is your time. You are ready. You are ready to leap. You have been pushed. And I know without a doubt you know who you are. Because I have told you and reminded you who you are every morning we were together for four years.
You are not what people say. You are not what people may think. You are better than they could ever imagine. Because together we are South Cobb!