An Open Letter to the Class of 2015

Dear You Who Rocks,

Don’t you hate when people assume they know who you really are and what you can bring to the table? As if we can tell everything from when a person was born, or from how much they engage in current technology.

So much has been said about you, but you get to say something for yourselves. Actions speak louder than anything that comes from your lips, so whatever you say from this day forward: Do it out loud. Speak through the people you help and the lives you work to change in small ways. And, speak it even if no one hears it or acknowledges you for it. Tell the world what it needs, by the political decisions you make. Share the pain and confusion you’ve experienced during recent and recurrent racial upheaval by continuing to ask questions like “What can I do to move us towards peace?” I invite you to keep asking questions – thoughtful questions.

You’re not expected to know everything, as we all have different experiences. You don’t have to be afraid to admit if you don’t relate to every single disaster or uprising. The worst thing isn’t when a person is ignorant of an issue. What’s worse is when a person ignores what they see happening because they don’t think they can add anything.

The truth is that you’ve had a positive impact on our world, Class of 2015.You’ve done it when you’ve done any or all of the following: smiled at someone, braved being in front of an audience to share your story, welcomed someone who has felt marginalized into your group, asked a question that sparked a needed dialogue, worked to save money to help someone else, or even when you saved a seat for someone at the table. You’ve done more than I just mentioned, and more than you’ll ever get credit for.

My biggest hope for you is that you don’t feel crushed by life each time you don’t attain your goals. We need big things to happen, big ideas to be put into action, and big answers to tough questions. We also need the everyday effort that inadvertently inspires our neighbors, friends, and families. It reminds us that life isn’t some mundane thing, it’s everything we bring to it. You get to define your life. You get to have a good life whether or not you get your dream job right out of college, find yourself at home with your family, or find yourself in a really hard place. No matter what your circumstance is during the coming days and years after graduation, know that you deserve to feel good about all you’ve done up until this point, and that no amount of assumptions, research, or bad news can keep you down. You are more than what you’ve heard about yourself, and you are more than what you tell yourself you are.

Alas, I haven’t told you anything you didn’t already know. I’m just here to remind you of what each of us gets to seek within ourselves and embrace each day: we are enough and we get to set the world on awesome.

Do Your Thing Class of 2015!


Sinclair Preston Ceasar III

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