Huron Plainman | Uncle Ben’s Graduate Guide to Life


“Over time, you have been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy
I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye.
“Pray for Me” – Michael W. Smith

One Sunday in May in the Wolsey gymnasium, I walked up to a microphone and sang this song at my graduation.

The lyrics are, like many graduation songs, a reminder that there were many good memories among us 16 that afternoon, but that a great future awaited us too.

Later that day I had my graduation reception at the Wolsey Senior Center and enjoyed opening cards for family and friends. One card in particular didn’t have many of the normal graduation card slots.

My Uncle Bob had taken the time to handwrite a version of his “guide to life” in his graduation card for me.

Many things he wrote were things I had seen or read before, but his perspective added them, and I still remember this card to this day.

The actual card was lost due to many moves to college and various jobs over the years, including in the Huron area, but with grad season upon us, I felt Uncle Ben could offer something other than rice…

Realizing that 22 points for the class of 2022 would be a considerably long column, I decided to assume that the majority of students graduating from high school this year would have been born in 2004, so I decided to focus on four main areas.

1. Good order is paramount.

One of the main things Uncle Bob taught me was that faith and family always come first. Jobs come and go. Even friends come and go.

Focus on finding fulfillment and building a rewarding relationship with your faith and family, and whatever else life throws at you will come easy to you.

2. Life is made of waves, not peaks (or valleys).

So many people talk about peaking in high school or college, when they’re my age. Don’t be one!

Life will come to you in waves, and each wave has new and amazing things that are both challenging and wonderful.

Rather than wishing for a previous wave or trying to ignore the current wave and swim to the next one, absorb and observe all you can about this one, because each passes far too quickly.

High school was one of those waves. College or trade school may be another, early love may be another, starting a family may be another, early homeownership may be another, raising teenagers may be another. , and every job you have in life can have its own flow.

Live and enjoy it all, but don’t wrap yourself in one of these waves as they are only meant to be ridden for a short time, and if you hold out too long they can sink you!

3. Change – more than your socks.

There’s an old saying that if you haven’t changed your mind about something in the past few years, check your pulse because you’re probably dead.

Change is constant. Last week, Apple announced that it would no longer manufacture the iPod.

For those of you graduating this spring, you’ve never lived in a world without an iPod, but someone turning 40 this year has experienced primary music storage, moving records and 8-track tapes to cassettes, compact discs and digital players. like the iPod during that person’s lifetime.

Our own view of the world is also constantly changing. Experiencing one corner of a state of a country in the world does not necessarily carry over to the rest of the world, and it is important to have other perspectives on life and across the world to inform life.

Of course, go back to #1 and understand that no one expects you to sacrifice your faith or your family to expand your worldview, but in many cases being better informed and better educated about your own faith can strengthen your faith and is one. essential in the transmission of this faith to the next generation.

4. If at first you don’t succeed, say so.

A recent change in Starbucks’ corporate training materials required the removal of language telling employees that saying “I’m sorry” to a customer was a mistake and potentially a punishable offense.

Unfortunately, in much of our social media and hot-takes-driven world, making a loud proclamation is rarely followed by an apology or even an admission of error when proven otherwise.

In all relationships, public and private, beyond the ability to show compassion in the little everyday things, the ability to apologize and admit wrong is an absolute personal trait.

Modeling the ability to admit one’s own flaws is something that will open up lines of communication with friends, family, and future co-workers, not to mention setting future children the example you want when trying to figure out who spilled. the lamp!

Be young, have fun, and all that. Above all, congratulations to all 2022 graduates and good luck in your future endeavours.

Remember that as long as you can move, you can always go home!


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