With Honors

This past month, my twins graduated from high school, and my family has cherished every minute celebrating. Whether it’s college, preschool, or anything in between, graduations are milestones worth marking.

I’ve always enjoyed the sound bites from celebrity commencement addresses, from entertainers to politicians; each shares their experience, values, and advice on success (often with a bit of humor thrown in). 

Here are a few famous sound bites from over the years:

  • “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own.” –Amy Poehler, Harvard University, 2011
  • “Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth? Those who were kindest to you, I bet. It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than try to be kinder.” –George Saunders, Syracuse University, 2013
  • “You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, karma, whatever.” –Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005
  • “You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality. Try it and see.” –Margaret Atwood, University of Toronto, 1983
  • “Climb the mountain not to plant your flag but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. And then you, too, will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special. Because everyone is.” –David McCullough, Wellesley High School, 2012

These takeaway quotes all share the value of being adaptable, making a difference, practicing gratitude, valuing relationships, practicing resilience, and never stopping learning. 

Do you see the similarities between these words of inspiration to graduates and the work Shepherd’s Centers do every day? Our volunteers, participants, and leaders live by the values of lifelong learning and selflessness in serving others. We honor the belief that everyone is special and has something to contribute. We champion each opportunity, in our own small way, to make a difference and change the lives of older adults.

One thing all Shepherd’s Centers have in common is that they have heard someone say to them, “Shepherd’s Center has changed my life!” Maybe today is the day to commence…to begin a new day connecting more older adults to our network of services and programs.

Sarah Cheney

Thank you endlessly for your generosity

You’re changing lives and building community with your support.

Aging Forward Logo

Aging Forward National Office
5559 NW Barry Rd.
Box #333
Kansas City, MO 64154

Subscribe to our newsletter

Enjoy Aging Matters newsletter for insight and connection.