for those who missed it:
As I thought about what I should say here today, I kept thinking about what I wanted for all of you – my friends and classmates, the Herndon High School class of 2011!
I read inspiring speeches, watched motivating YouTube videos, and talked to teachers, family, and friends for inspiration.
But through all those conversations and all that research, I kept returning to one simple wish.
My wish for all of you is just to be happy.
That’s it. Just Be Happy!
My all-time favorite quote is from Anne Frank. And the fact that Anne Frank said this is truly inspiring.
She said, “Look at all the beauty still around you, and be happy.”
As we’ve trudged through the last four years of high school, it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had our trials and obstacles along the way, but today is proof that we have pushed passed them.
Not only did we push pass them but I hope we learned to find happiness along the way.
We tried new things, found what we loved, and went with it.
Even in the midst of difficulty, we excelled.
Now, we are sitting here today ready to receive our diplomas.
We have proven that we are achievers. We know how to excel at something.
And not just any something, but something that matters, something we can feel proud of, and something that paves the way for us to do even greater things.
The Dalai Lama said:
“The purpose of life is to seek happiness.
Happiness is determined more by the state of one's mind than by our external conditions, circumstances, or events.
The key to happiness is in our own hands.”
So as we begin a new chapter of our lives let’s choose to be happy.
Be happy we are where we are.
Be happy we have what we have.
And be happy we are who we are.
In closing and on behalf of this years graduating class, I’d like to thank the teachers, coaches, counselors, sponsors, administrators, and families who have sacrificed so much for us over the years. And to you Class of 2011, I’d like to thank you for the many things you have taught me over the years. Thank you for the moments of pure joy you have shared with me. I wish you every bit of happiness in all your endeavors. Thank you.