My Daughter will graduate from high school tomorrow. This is my electronic graduation speech to her and her class.
To the class of 2005 welcome to adulthood. I know some of you thought you were already grown up, but believe me you are not. I will use a wornout and tired image here, but you are facing a "Y" in the road of life. Some of you will go to college, some to the workforce. Listen to me when I say that both choices are equally good. College is not for everyone. I want to be perfectly clear, no matter which road you take, your learning is not finished. Education is a lifelong process. You will have to learn how do to do your job, be a parent and a responsible member of society.
If you are furthering your education at a formal institution of higher learning you have a tougher job yet. Not only will you be exposed to new thoughts and ideas, you will learn to think. I firmly believe that a conservative political philosophy is the only outlook. Your teachers and professors will do their best to indoctrinate you liberally. Do not accept my thinking or theirs. Listen, learn, look for the other side of every issue. I learned a long time ago that the best way to prepare for a debate was to argue the other side's case. Do the same. Think critically and stand firm for you beliefs. Even if you stand alone.
You are a class raised in war. September 11 of your freshman year forged a generational memory in you. You already have friends and classmates fighting for the forces of freedom, or on their way. Support them, know that America is the most shining example of freedom on the planet today.
You have been raised in a world of technology never seen before. In the last 100 years we have learned to drive a car, defy gravity and learn to fly, cure diseases, electrified the nation. Weahve been to the moon and in your lifetime we will likely visit other planets. We have computers that fit in the palm of our hand that are stronger than a desktop unit just a few years ago. The technological innovations are endless. Use this to make your life better and simpler. You laugh at us old folks who do not understand computers, cell phones or MP3 players. Do not fall into the same rut as you age. Do not become comfortable, embrace change.
Finally, as a parent, understand that we only want the best for you. Every Dad wants his daughter to have a better life than his. He wants you to succeed, and be a better person than he ever was. He wants you to avoid and learn from his mistakes.
Students, remember to your parents you are still the little red crying machine they brought home in that pink or blue blanket. You were scared, they were terrified. Together you grew up.
Be strong. Be fruitful. Work hard, no one is going to give you anything in life. You will have to fight and struggle. When life knocks you down, get up and laugh. Then you will be grown up. Love your family, your God, and your country.
I tell my kids one thing every day. Learn something. I do not think you will ever go wrong following that directive.
Go on, learn something.