We live in blessed magical times. Look around and you will see the best the best of all that technology has to offer you. Look beyond the technology to see the people behind it - people like you and I - human beings - we are after all a species showing promise. We've been to the moon and back, but sometimes fail to look at it, speak to or encourage one another.
Now why is that? It's simply because we fail to see a body we can relate to - another person full of dreams, ambitions and desires - never lose the human touch. At the end of the day, it's all that we will be remembered for. Live well, laugh often and love much. Love what you do, love to talk about things that you are going to do - even if it's trivial silly stuff. Enjoy the ride - it's going to take you places and show you things. Open your hearts and minds to life - in the end, you will find it's all been worth your while - every turn of phrase, every leaf and ant bite. When we were young (or sometime shortly thereafter), we discover a fire inside it. Watch it grow and win things for you for it makes it possible for you to dream of the stars and beyond. Don't worry about up's and down's in life - they all serve a purpose - to just tell you what stern stuff you are made of. There are ways to get help in any situation. All it needs is a friendly smile and a "brother/sister - I'm in trouble and I need some help". Smile from the heart and see how much people will move Heaven and Earth to make you happy again. Not everyone, not right away - that's because we're all caught up in our own lives - make allowances for that too - but don't for heaven's sake lose your positivity, your humanity or your passion.
They say that when the going gets tough the tough get going - well remember that it's only the test of fire that makes fine steel - not the steel in weapon's (laughs) - there's plenty of other uses for it. Be gentle with those around you - you may not agree with the adults around you but grant them a wisdom borne out of experience - they've probably seen more / been more add can tell you things about yourself you never knew because they've watched you from the very start.
Did I say live well - laugh often -love much? I promise you that mantra can come back to curve deeper wells in your being - increase your capacity to experience this little beauty called life. The sum total of human experience is out there to be found anew - enjoy the ride. Some 20 years ago when I left school I said something about never wanting to grow up - I have in some ways but then I haven't.
I still kiss the leaves at break of day, smell the Earth when I water the plants and have goosebumps on my hands when I think of all the secret places where I am going to find life - admist life. Why do I say I have'nt grown up - because I can look back and realise that what I am now - I was already from the start. To paraphrase Richard Crenna's words to Slyvester Stallone in Rambo - "the statue was always there - the Sculptor (God / Mother Nature / life if you will) - only has to remove all that is not you before the real you can emerge".
This is what your parents, aunts, uncles, teachers and loved ones have been doing all along - setting the stage where you will come out and blossom into the wonderful being I know each and everyone of you yearns to (and will) become. I will keep coming back to love - love your parents - love your pets - love your friends and your fantasy worlds - love your life-theories and your idols and super heroes - but never forget to love yourselves. All the hopes and dreams of OUR entire generation go with you. As you set out to rediscover and respark the age old human equation.
Remember that caring is sharing, that the truth lies as a vast ocean before you - an ocean to be voyaged upon, a path to be trod carefully. There are many aspects to our lives. We can be financially rich but emotionally bankrupt - or intellectually superior but socially inept. Think of what matters to you and plan your lives accordingly. Remember each one of you is going to blossom to your full, in your own way and at your own time. People around you can hasten or retard the process, but only if you let them.
Faith is a wonderful to have - have faith in yourself for then you will find it easy to have sublime faith in mankind (to use Abe Lincoln's words).
I'm sure you have all been given good grounding and know in your hearts right from wrong, goodness from folly .Think of those around you and try and remember as my 2 school mottos said - ""Keep smiling" and "service with a smile".
So coming back to values - those are what are going to govern your actions and help you make desicions. Pay attention to your thoughts, words and actions for that is what builds character. There is a desicion to be made whilst in these "blessed magical times". A desicion on what motivates us, what our priorities are, what roles we play and how we play them. Find and build a stockpile of things that comfort you - whether it is a touching story, a dear friend or an inspiring song. Books can be best teacher if only if you will wait patientaly for them to reveal their mystery and wonder for you.
Lets touch upon action. Be bold in all that you do. Reward is certain for one who is sincere. Sincerity, dedication and hardwork always pays off. While you are going through the journey of life, don't forget your sense of humour, don't miss out on the "little moments" and remember, as my college professor Ranganathan told me - we aim for the stars that we MAY hit the moon. Dream big - dream of changing the world because when we dream fierecely enough we can. There's enough proof of that if you look around. As Eric Clapton sang - You can be the sunlight in someone's universe. Begin with your parents and then see how far love and compassion takes you.
Don't let setbacks weigh on you for too long - experience all has some purpose - what we do not realise until time has passed and we can put things in perspective.
Stay positive, stay focused, stay human, stay connected, stay in touch with your feelings and always remember as George Carlin said, that "life is not about the number of breaths but moments that take our breath away".