Sunday, May 21, 2006

You Know, Public Speaking Is The Number 1 Fear In The U.S....

Forgot about this place, didn't you?... Well don't you worry, I didn't forget about you. I'm still living the life, getting through school. You know, the good stuff. Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I am, in fact, still alive. Plus, I wanted to post a speech a wrote recently....

You see, about two weeks ago, I was contacted to speak at my former Middle School's Graduation dinner. The school picks two alumni every year to come speak. I figured that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I seized the oppurtunity. I wrote a speech over the course of two days. Of course, thinking about what I wanted to say took a lot longer, but the actual writing took a very short amount of time. It just sort of flowed. After proofreading many a-time, and delivering the speech (rather nervously, I'll admit) I figured the next natural step was to share it with you all. Here you go: Happy reading!

Graduation Speech
Introduction – Name, Class of 2003, and Thank You’s
I would just like to tell this class of 2006 some things to expect, and share a few words of advice. As a student at Cherry Hills for 9 years, I know what you have been through, I’ve weathered the same storm, but I have also ventured into a totally different world. You all are about to do the same. I would like to help you out a bit, steer you on the right course. However, I can’t take credit because after all it is å
Cherry Hills that HAS prepared you, academically and spiritually
Brightest, Most Moral, Most Personable – you WILL have it easy
Academically, High School is almost a break, until you get to my age
Spiritually, you are the most grounded, and strongest you can be, you CAN go it alone, it has been done very successfully – but it will be easier if you hold onto your friends
Remember, you are NEVER alone; there will always be people with your same faith, interests, ideals, and values. Besides, just because you go to one school doesn’t mean that you can’t have friends at totally different schools.
Hold onto your relationships – this group has incredible potential, and the foundation to hold together through anything, take advantage – examples my class has kids at Arap, the Ranch, Regis, H-tage, M Vista, T-Ridge, L-Town, and many more, but we still stay in contact. In fact, some of my best friends don’t go to my school.
The relationships forged and founded in this middle school have the potential to last a lifetime. Look around, these kids will be there for you, no matter how far from you they are.
These relationships, and the kids that form them, are strong enough to hold up in the worst of conditions. But after all, judging by where we all live, and the environment we all grew up in, the conditions aren’t all that bad. This most definitely shows in High School life, in fact it shows in the schools themselves.
There are NO “bad” schools, especially in Highlands Ranch/ Littleton, Colorado
No matter where you are going, I GUARENTEE there are quality students, staff, and administration in that school. There is not a school here that is prejudice, immoral, or anti-Christian. In fact, all of the schools around will encourage your faith.
There are Christian clubs embedded in every school that you will attend. But you don’t have to join a club to find Christian friends. The lifestyle that you lead will attract others to you.
Speaking of lifestyle, in High School, you will be presented with hundreds of “opportunities”. Some great, some not-so-great: You see, High School is not a breeding ground for evil, but it is not temptation free either.
High School revolves solely on the choices made by YOU, the student. You can choose to go to class, or you can choose not too. You can choose to drink every weekend, or you can choose to have fun in a smarter way. There are thousands of choices you are about to make, everyday you will be presented with decisions that can alter the rest of your High School life, or even your entire life.
Be cautious of these choices; do not go into high school naively thinking you will choose easily. These are extremely difficult choices; after all, we wouldn’t sin if it wasn’t fun. Also, do not think that you will always make the right choice, you and I are humans. And we do make mistakes.
Every one of you will do something that you will know was the wrong choice sometime in your life. I have seen people pour their lives down the drain when they pour the alcohol in their mouths. I have seen them lose all their dignity after they lose their virginity, and I’ve seen kids beat down their future when they beat down others.
Of course, I haven’t just seen kids do stupid things, I’ve done them too. I’ve made choices I regret. I have a scar on my actual eyeball from an illegal firework that went off in my hand and face. Don’t mess with illegal fireworks. Right, Brandon? In fact, don’t mess with anything illegal guys, you will regret it.
OK, enough fire and brimstone, back to the positive stuff…As I said, High School is made up of choices, and every situation will have consequences – good or bad
With the experience you have had from this school you are more than prepared for the situations I have told you about. But just because you are prepared to make the right choice, doesn’t mean you will. I truly hope you do, though, because as I have said, every choice will have a consequence. These consequences may not be apparent at first, but someone will be affected by every one of your choices. Of course, these choices don’t have to have bad results. Rewards are given out much more often then reprimands. You don’t get your license for being a bad driver with your permit, you don’t get on honor roll with a terrible attendance record, and you don’t make the varsity squad if you don’t work hard.
You see, it all really boils down to this statement: High School is what you make of it.
If you make poor decisions like, hanging out with shady people, not going to class, partying it up, and not living for the Big Man up there, then you will probably have a life full of pleasure, but not joy. You will have fun for a while, but it won’t last. Oh, and good luck getting into the college you want. However, I have seen the kind of kids you will become. You are grounded enough to have great friends. You are smart enough to go to class, you are wise enough to have fun responsibly, and you are strong and faithful enough to live for God. You see, this class has the potential to be the group of people who shape the future. You have the ideals to save the population from sin. You have possibility to affect everyone you meet positively. And you have the ability to do all of those things, now all you have to do is go out and do them.

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