Dear 2020 Graduates,
I want you all to know that you are, right now, as smart as anyone else in the world, even those who lead us. You are, right now, as talented as anyone else in the world, even those you admire. You have in you, right now, everything that you need to succeed.
All you are lacking is experience, and that comes from the adventure of living that now stands before you. That is the enviable path of first-times and big ideas. You will not know how to do or deal with many of the things you will have to do and deal with in life. But you will learn. It will be a path filled with obstacles and challenges, for no life, not even yours, is easy. But you will prevail and you will thrive. You will experience big successes and small ones, and I encourage you to acknowledge and celebrate all of them, for they are what makes life worthwhile.
What you have achieved today, will be the first of many accomplishments in your life. You have achieved this goal with resilience, dedication, patience, empathy, and fortitude—the same skills you will employ moving forward. From this, you will know that you can achieve your dreams, for you have right now achieved one of your first and biggest dreams—you have graduated. You have today, begun to establish your track record of success!
I wish my generation had left a healthier world for you to inhabit. We didn't, and that's on us. But I am reminded with every interaction I have with you of your kindness, compassion, and empathy for humankind, along with your imaginative and inventive solutions for the problems I put before you, and indeed, what life puts before you. You have solved and overcome so much already. I have great hope for the world in your capable hands.
So at this time of graduation, know that you are a special class, the Covid class. And while you may not have had the ceremony you deserve, you have the love and support of the world at this time and for the future. I wish you all a heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS, and I so look forward to seeing who you will become.
I'd like to leave you with a cyber-graduation and some profound words from John Krasinski and Some Good News - do listen until the very end: