I just finished watching a college commencement via the Internet. As filler, they had students hold up signs where they finished the statement “I promise to”. The endings ran the gamut – “pay back my parents”, “give back to the community”, “smile”, “be a leader”, “to buy my parents a house”…all messages of hope and anticipation. It took me back. I remember being terrified of the future…leaving my friends…being a grown up…making a living…but I looked forward to changing the world. I started with the Peace Corps but they didn’t consider a BA in Political Science and Spanish much of a skill. Then, the State Department where they offered me a secretarial position at the American Embassy in Venezuela — it wasn’t until four years later I received a letter inviting me to continue my processing for the Foreign Service. Finally, I ended up as a Computer Science Intern with the Department of Defense. Having only taken one college course in computers, it was quite a surprise to have aced the test which started my unexpected career. It wasn’t the path I had expected to take when I graduated and that is perhaps why Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken became one of my favorites.
Merriam Webster defines commencement as “the time when something begins.” I had forgotten this and decided today to make “commencement” one of my morning words because every day is a great day to have something begin. What will happen if we view each day as a Commencement Day? I’m thinking that it is going to put me back into that state of anticipation and hope. A time of new beginnings and endless opportunities. What might it do for you? Join me this week in starting your day as the time something begins. I can’t wait to hear what roads open up for you.