EDITORIAL: Where will you go?

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“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

For all of the literature, history, science and math this year’s Liberty Hill High School senior class has crammed into their heads over the last four years, it is the message of a Dr. Seuss book – “Oh the Places You Will Go” – that may serve them best.

An undefined future lies ahead, full of opportunity and excitement. It surely will include challenges, pitfalls and struggles, but all of these are what life is made of. This is one of those moments in life when the world is theirs to explore, to tame and make their own.

Seniors are stepping from a stage that celebrates all they have accomplished to date, into a life they have been eagerly trying to reach. We have helped them, encouraged them, taught them and even scolded them at every turn in hopes we might have them prepared for this very moment.

What we find in life, though, is that even as adults with many years behind us it can be a challenge to define our lives and become, or even know, who we hope to be.

For some new graduates, the definition will come easy and quickly as they move into adulthood. For some, it may take decades filled with hurdles and dozens of tough questions. It is important to reach for that potential, but it is most important to be happy in that journey.

In a world filled with self-help strategies, programs and plans, Author Daniel Pink posed one critical question that could help us all define what our life is all about: “What is my sentence?”

Think about that for a moment. Answering that question can both tell you where you want to go and who you think you should be. The basic idea is not to try to be or do too much, but to define your place more simply.

All of us should be asking this question, but it is especially important for the class of 2018 as they step into that responsibility and independence of adulthood. Perhaps these seniors are not ready to provide a well-defined sentence answer, but by asking the question they can begin to chart a path to where they hope to go.

With that defining sentence at the center of our lives we can evaluate our efforts along the way to see if perhaps we are not as focused as we should be or maybe chose the wrong sentence. If we have that sentence as a guide to our destination, we will see when we are wandering, lost or treading water.

All of us need a defining moment, whether it comes when we graduate high school or two, three or five decades later.

Ask yourselves “How will you contribute? How will you define and find happiness?”

Parents, friends and neighbors of these proud graduates, ask yourselves how you will help them realize these dreams.

Some sentences will be simpler than others, but no less important when realized.

From the staff at The Independent, congratulations to the class of 2018. We hope your sentence leads to happiness and helps create a better world for us all.

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