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A Message For Graduates

Image by Joan Kwamboka via Unsplash

This graduation season is being celebrated by many who have struggled to reach it. Boredom, distraction, lack of focus, uncertainty, depression, infection, disconnection, upheaval, lack of resources and unemployment are just a few of the many challenges we’ve faced.

There is cause for celebration for all of us who are graduating from one life stage to the next. From one level in school to the next, from school to career, from quarantine to freedom, from infection to health, from fear to security, from caution to spontaneity, from unemployment to work, from drifting to purpose.

Whatever graduation you are fortunate to be celebrating, and celebrate you should, I encourage you to approach the next stage as an opportunity to continue enhancing the plot of your story. As much as our lives are now considered content in the social media age and what we post must always be on brand, we have always been following one script or another.

It may have been handed down to us and accepted with self edits here and there or maybe we’ve seen scripts others follow and edited parts of those into our script in bits and pieces or maybe we’ve been following a script written entirely by others.

Until we write our own script, we’ll continue playing roles relegated to us by the hopes of our parents, the despair of our doubts, the faith of our families, the myths we adopt as truth, the neighborhoods we grew up in, the friends we rely on and the world we’ve been exposed to and if those things still serve us, by all means, let’s keep them in our script.

All of us still have amazing stories to live and to tell and while our script will only ever be an outline, without it we are blown to and fro second guessing how to grow, but armed with it, we grow in purpose. The values we write into our story and choose to live out at any given time dictate the levels of stress and/or bliss with which we experience our one of a kind lives. I share the following message called “Will U” as a reminder of that.

Congratulations on graduating to the next level and those of you who may still be going through it, keep rising, this message is for you too.


Billions have come, billions have gone

Throughout their lives they've learned, lost and won

Billions more will come and go

What deep truths will their lives show

For their time, for their place,

for the air that they breathed

For their loves, for their hates,

for their good and bad deeds

And now here U rise

one of the billions still here

seeking who, what, where, how

so you can eclipse your fear

If it’s fame that U want

she’s elusive and fickle

she comes and goes as she pleases

her rewards mostly trickle

Even if fame’s not your goal

and U just want your best life

while pursuing your passion

and avoiding the strife

What U need to do now

before going all in

before investing your soul

in a race U won’t win Is write the script for your life

U will be the lead actor,

the producer, the director

the editor, the caster

This will be your story

decide now how you'll live it

what matters, what doesn't

How much effort you'll give it

Will U pretend to be

like so many do,

or become who U are

the 1 only U

Will U add to or subtract from

the world's awesome beauty

Enhance or destroy

Choose now, it's your duty

Will U be hero or villain

making life better or worse

for the people around U

will U be blessing or curse

Will U consider others

or just U all the time

will U walk in their shoes

feel their pain, help them climb

Will U be honest & truthful

no matter the cost

trusting that it's enough

to keep from getting lost

or will U lie & deceive

to gain what U crave

be a cheater and con

left with a rep hard to save

Will U keep your promises and do what U say choose to maintain trust like there's no other way

or will U bail on your friends after committing to them leave them wondering if they can trust U again

Will your friends think you're loyal will U have their back will U help shine their light if their enemies attack or will U use who U can to get one step ahead betray friends and trick foes till your friendships are dead

When U commit to yourself

will U follow through

building self confidence

because U believe U

or will U break your own trust

thinking it’s not a big deal

then lose confidence in U

and find it difficult to heal

Will U stand up for yourself

or be used and abused

demand respect and fair treatment

or bow down when refused

Will U forgive when done wrong

and offer mercy and grace

or hold a grudge, seek revenge

no matter what it takes

When knocked down as U fly

will U rise like a Phoenix

flap your wings with new tempo

top the charts with your remix

or will U stay close to the ground

where no turbulence lives

with no challenge, no resistance

that not growing gives

Will U live in fear or above it

hate mystery or love it

when rich will U share it

when broke will U covet

Will U walk paths never taken

with all the unknowns

or choose familiar and comfort

smoothing out the road's stones

Some will try holding U back

roadblocks will appear from thin air

will your script say "Give Up!" or

"Stand fast, hang in there!”

These are choices that likely

U will face in your story

the more you live, the more you learn

life's not all hunky-dory

but U have what U need

to amass all the muscle

to fight future fears

with strength, focus and hustle

Once U know who you’ll be

be that person you've scripted

permission's been granted

and your password's encrypted

2 parts H mixed with O

become water each time

1 part U mixed with grow

leads to LIFE so sublime

Share your skills, gifts and talents

the world’s searching for new

Live with heart, body, soul

Life is art, paint it U

Every time U take action

it’s with purpose U begin

actions dance, fight or hug

till U learn or U win

That's why writing your script

is what U must do

so you'll know in advance

how win and learn look to U

Please make note of the word choice

U either win or U learn

Commit, learn & don’t quit

in time you’ll get your turn

The only time that U lose

is when U choose not to learn

it’s that choice which determines

dreams fulfilled or dreams burned

When U make your mistakes

will U look for excuses

or look for the lessons

which have many more uses

No one has what U have

embrace your gift and then share it

the world's counting on U

we'll miss out if U bury it

It’s your choice, that’s what's great

about this adventure we’re on

Life is learning. Write your script

before your learning’s all gone!

*Revised sentence structure and wording 5/20/21

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