Finish What You Started

by Jermaine

    This past Saturday I had the pleasure of seeing hundreds of people walk across a stage because they earned a college degree: Associates, Bachelors, and, yes, Masters degrees. As a random participant, totally disconnected from the graduating body personally, I was still moved beyond measure. I could see the wave of emotions so clearly that it pulled me in. Almost like magic, I was hypnotized. Before long I found myself smiling, laughing, and rejoicing.

     I filled the roll of official scroll handler (a.k.a. the guy who hands the scroll to the Campus Vice President while trying to stay out of their photo in the middle of the stage). I saw firsthand the joy, relief, excitement, and satisfaction that flashed over nearly four-hundred faces. With cheering family members in tow, these graduates marched, stumbled, and even grimaced in pain to make sure they crossed that stage!

     I personally talked with one graduate who had recently torn a muscle in her calf but without hesitation said she was walking across the stage to get her degree. When the time came she delayed the line a little with her obvious limp yet with all of the joy and excitement going around no one could stop her from “her moment.” She had put in the work, gave the energy, and made the sacrifice…. She finished what she started! And a torn calf muscle a week before was not going break her stride.

    This was merely the icing on the cake after hearing the speeches from the selected graduates. One student went through a divorce while in the middle of her degree program and still managed to graduate without ever getting less than an A! She cried as she shared glimpses of her transition from a wife of ten years -to- a single mother job searching and attending school. Regardless, she was still here at graduation. Walking with her classmates. Head held high. Ready for the next list of challenges that life would throw at her.

     In retrospect, I’m sure every one of these students had a list of issues that could have stopped them before this day. Actually for every student present there are countless other who started all across this country (at the same time) and never finished when faced with the same challenges. 

What about us? 

    Just like me, I’m sure you have unfinished goals. It might not be a degree but it could be a book, a list of songs, a painting, whatever it is, what made you stop? I’m sure you’ve had ligitimate set backs. I say to whoever is reading this… go back, pick up the pieces of those shattered goals, put them back together and finish what you started. Then you too will be able to fill the satisfaction, enjoyment, contentment, and peace of knowing that you set your mind to do something and completed it. Trust me, it is a great feeling (and a great look) but there is no magic involved, only hard work.