The Graduation Walk

1024 205 Augusta Kantra

Here’s a thought I’d like to share…

“In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices.”  ~Dr. Kathleen Hall

Evan and I were talking yesterday about his “walking” at the graduation ceremony this weekend. Our conversation made me realize that my perspective on graduation ceremonies changed significantly after attending Lacy’s commencement in 2009 at LSU.

It was my first time to attend a college commencement as a parent. David and I sat in this huge auditorium along with our younger daughter, McKenzie, my mom, my sister and my bother-in-law – and thousands of others. When “Pomp and Circumstance” began playing, I was struck by all the students filing in. From way up high, we looked down on hundreds of mortar boards. I thought about all those degrees; all the years of education; all the professors that taught all those students; all the parents and grandparents of those students; all the dollars in tuition that had to be earned; all the sweat and tears from the students and from their families; all the circumstances that each student and family had to navigate to get to this day; all the bumps and bruises, joys and laughter, doubts and fears that were part of the paths to this moment; all the choices, big and small, through the generations, that culminated with this present moment.

And then I thought about all the journeys that would begin with this moment; the jobs; the search for jobs; the moves; the transformation from student to adult; the adventures; the marriages; the children; the legacies… the lives that would begin because this moment was happening in these lives.  Again, all the choices that could be made because all the choices that had already been made.

Yes, commencement is just a ceremony, but it’s so much more. It’s a time to honor chosen roads, commitments made, work done, support given and time spent. Our lives are determined by the choices we make.

So, dear graduating students, as your journeys continue, in the words of Nelson Mandela, “May your choices always reflect your hopes, not your fears.

And as graduations happen all over our country, may we pause to honor and appreciate the countless choices that led to each student’s “walk” across that stage. And may we all remember that “In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices.”  Choose well.

Wishing you choices that lead you to peace and happiness,



Augusta Kantra

All stories by: Augusta Kantra

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