Today, my friends, is a new day – fresh and brimming with boundless possibility. But today, like most days, will be wasted.
We will sit quietly and let the world around us change, but we will not ourselves seek to change it. We will keep silent as injustice and prejudice devastate our land, for we will not utter a single word in oppression. We will dream of a better tomorrow, but will deny ourselves the vigor needed to wake from our complacency.
For too long, we have relied on the wisdom, courage and power of those who have come before us, shackled by our fragile immaturity. But it is on our quivering and naïve shoulders – not theirs – that the future of our world rests.
Because you are young, you can charge ahead with reckless abandon. You can be daring and bold, always refusing to accept the status quo as an absolute. It is in your un-calloused hands that destiny itself awaits you, yearning to be shaped to your will.
Go forward with your wide-eyed sense of adventure and create a narrative that is truly your own. Never be afraid to make mistakes, since they’re often the best way to learn wonderful new things. And whenever you are told you are too young to understand, tell your critics they’re never too old to listen.
Your inexperience will inevitably close many doors for you, but it is that same inexperience that will allow you to discover pathways that are still virgin to the common traveler’s footsteps.
There will be times when you feel completely lost and unsure of what to do next. All you have to remember is that the world is round. Keep putting one foot forward and you’ll eventually reach home again.
There will be other times where your heart will be broken into a thousand jagged fragments. Do not hesitate to pick them up, because even in pieces, you will eventually find somebody who will make you feel whole.
And there will be times when you will despair, where the future will seem unendingly bleak. But it is when the world looks its darkest that we are able to best appreciate all the tiny random sparks of kindness from those around us.
You are the young and able-bodied, and it is for you that an entire future full of opportunity waits.
Refuse to sit back and let life pass you by. Live each day with purpose for the betterment of yourself and for others. Use the gift of time that we often squander to make a real difference in this world of ours, for the biggest regret we can ever have – greater than failure, greater than rejection – is to have not even tried.
Above all else cherish each and every memory you make, for it is today – and not tomorrow – that matters most.