EDITORIAL: Staring down the unknown

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“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”
– Patrick Overton

What everyone wanted from their senior year at Liberty Hill High School was a unique, memorable experience. What they got was a pandemic, more than 40 days of school missed, a two-week delay in graduation and countless unknowns.

They say hindsight is 2020, and for the Class of 2020 that is more important than it has ever been. For the Class of 2020, being able to look back with clarity, and find the special in the inconvenience, the memorable in the frustrating, and the sense of accomplishment in the unfamiliar is where it’s at. They may not see everything that is ahead, but they can take a lot from what is behind. Resilience, patience, and perseverance are not simply buzzwords, but words they have lived.

As they waded into the unknown we worried how they might handle it, but their response has been far different than we might have feared. And now we know, they are a class truly ready for the world and its uncertainties.

We feel for the seniors of this class, recognizing how much their world was turned upside down at a time it was supposed to be its most perfect.

But if we consider all they’ve been through, we can be extra proud of the resilience and good nature we see as they put their heads down and push to the finish line.

These seniors have passed a test some never master, and they did it at an age when most of us were not prepared for the least bit of resistance from life. It is a time to go conquer the world, not survive it, but here they are poised to do both.

The 280 seniors in the Liberty Hill Class of 2020 have rolled with every wrinkle in their graduation plans. There has been no sign of complaining or feeling cheated. At every turn, these seniors have displayed an understanding, acceptance and grace about the world they are graduating into that many adults are not showing today.

They are not inheriting the world they remember from just a few months ago, but they approach the mystery of the next chapter with a smile and an unwavering focus on the plans they have had all along.

Could we blame them if they felt cheated or if they were hesitant to take the next step? But they are ready, and they have already learned one of the most important lessons in life – to make the best of every situation.

And in time, when the disappointment subsides, they will realize they are much stronger and more prepared for life because of it. They will see this unforeseen new reality as a unique moment where they overcame a great challenge.

It will translate into stories to tell that will be rivaled by no other class. Who else has been through so much mystery and uncertainty in their final two months of high school? Who has gone off to begin their own life with so many challenges and unknowns?

Judging by their good nature and perseverance, we’re all in good hands. These graduates are not inheriting the world they expected, but no one is better prepared to create solutions to the problems that must be overcome and adapt where there is no solution.

The Class of 2020 has learned what many don’t realize until decades down the line, that it was the people and the relationships that are the important part of the journey that leads to a destination.

We couldn’t shield them from the unknown, but now we know we didn’t need to.

They know the unpredictability of life and will always be prepared for the mental and emotional challenges it brings. The unknown will not frighten, but intrigue them. They are prepared for it, but not resigned to it.

Today, they are our example. They are the ones who can show us how to recalibrate our focus and adjust our expectations to take on the world and win.

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