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Grads: Attack life with gusto

High school seniors comprising the Class of 2021 are preparing for commencement exercises in which they will listen to some soon-to-be forgotten speeches and walk across the stage to receive a diploma. This is the culmination of long years of hard work and, of course, a lot of fun, too. The Class of 2021 has been forged in the fire. They have survived the COVID-19 pandemic that paralyzed this nation for months. It bred fear. It bred distrust in government and elected officials. But, it made all of us who lived through it through stronger for the experience. It is my fervent prayer we never have to experience such a thing again. Graduates, you are living in a new, post-pandemic age. You need not necessarily live on, or commute to, a college campus to get your next diploma. Distance learning has been around for a long time but the pandemic has forced the development of new technology that has made it easier. Many of your peers are rethinking college altogether. Learning a trade and plying it can be very lucrative. Consider technical school. You might consider Georgia’s burgeoning film industry. Military careers are also attractive and offer college options while you serve. Whether you go to college or technical school or not, get a job. Even a part time job will do. At this very moment, small businesses are begging for workers. It is a good time to get in on the ground floor. Be willing to work hard to make yourself indispensable to your new employer. Give 110% at this job and everything you do. If you are willing to work hard, you have the vast majority of the people beaten from the start. Employers value hard work and they will notice those who are willing to do it. Here is some more advice. Attack life with gusto. Seize the day every day. Each dawn brings with it new opportunities. Be on the lookout for those that dovetail with your ambitions. You become whom you hang out with so hang out with achievers. Where ever you end up, stay positive. The world already has enough people who are not happy if they don’t have something to complain about. Take this old adage to heart: ‘˜If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all’. Nobody – not even another whiner – likes a whiner. Remember that good things rarely happen after midnight. Again, be careful of whom you hang out with and where you hang out. Have fun but don’t become a statistic. Find a careful balance between work and play. Be an early bird. Get up and get after it every morning. The right people will notice. Finally, never miss an opportunity to do a good deed for another. You will see good manifest in your life as a result. Bad deeds are likewise multiplied and come home to roost. So do good. Congratulations on your graduation. Good luck and Godspeed!

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