Commencement

20150523_192209

My Partner and I have Seven Young Graduates in our Lives this Year — GodChildren, Nieces, Friends… Graduating Different Levels of Schooling,
Beginning a New Phase of their Life Adventures.
This piece is for them.
And for All of Us who would like to Commence a New Life Adventure… a New Phase of an Old Project… a Way to Begin or Begin Again… A Fresh Start,
Today…
“Commencement”
The Word means “Beginning!”

This is the MOST EXCITING TIME OF YOUR LIFE!
You can Do Anything!

Now is the Time
Before Marriage
Before Mortgages
Before things to pay for, fix , and feed…
You are Free!

BackPack through Europe.
Try an OutDoor Adventure — IceLand, The Artic, The Dakotas…
Experience Africa and Asia and the Galapagos Islands…
Intern with a Favorite Theater Company or Art Project or Doctors Without Borders
Dance!

Dream Big.
IMG_4780OPEN to the Endless Improbable Skies.
Wish Upon a Star and Do not judge yourself Ridiculous.
Do not judge yourself.  At All.
Look at all of the things that were not even considered possible before you were Born.
Think of how many others will Manifest before your time here is Ended.
Now find the ones that would not be Possible without You.
Do Those.

Turn your Desire into Beautiful Bountiful Realizations.
Do not allow your Call to go Unanswered.
Navigate between the Scylla of Disappointment and the Charybdis of Apathy,
And Set Sail.

Read Newspapers
The handheld electronic kind are fine.
Allow your World to Expand further than it Ever Has.
Have the Willingness to see Beyond yourself.
Magnify
Amplify.
Grow.

And don’t Believe Everything you Read.
Consider the Source!
Find Your Own Voice
And SAY IT.
SAY IT OUT LOUD!
SAY IT FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR!
CREATE NEW WORLDS and SAY IT TO THEM TOO!

Sammi. PPAS. New York, NY

Sammi. PPAS. New York, NY

Do Not Allow your Music to Die within You!
Make a JOYFUL NOISE.
It does not have to be Pretty.
It is Yours to Make, not yours to judge!
Let Go of Judgement.
Let Go of Fear.
Let Go of Anger.
Let Go of Resentment.
Let Go of Anything onto which you are Holding that does not serve you.

This is Commencement.
A New Beginning…

Begin
Wonder.
Say “YES!” fifty times a Day!
Acknowledge the Power of No.
Embrace the Power of Yes.
Take time to lie in a Grassy Knoll and delight in the stars.
Allow yourself to swim naked in the Ocean.
Travel.
Experience Cultures and Worlds Beyond your current scope and understanding.
Walk a mile in the shoes of Every Person you meet
Or at least, Walk with them.
IMG_4731
Your College Education has cost you some Quarter-of-a-Million Dollars
And you feel, understandably, that you are Owed Something for That.
You are Not.
And, most unfortunately, you have fallen Victim to the Legacy of the Reagan Bush Era.
It was right around the time RONALD REAGAN came into Office that the LandScape changed from Supporting Education of the People
to its current incarnation as a Profitable Institution for Banks and Big Business.

Do not allow this to set you back.
Rather, accept the Challenge and Discover the Next Cure.
Make People Well.
Make People’s Lives Better.
Practice Yoga and Meditation.
Be of Service.

Oh, sure, Go and make lots of Money and do all the things that you were taught to do
But Question those things also
And try doing Other things, as well.
There is So Much worth Doing that isn’t about money.
Try Making the World a Better Place with Every Action you Take.
Try Living Wonder Fully!

Money is fine.
It is Good to be Self-Supporting.
And you must figure that out and do it.
And Always Always Always save ten percent of every dollar you make.
You’ll know when the time comes to use it — it is a long way from now.
Always give ten percent to charity — to people and causes about whom and which you care.
The rest of what you make is yours to pay your bills and do stuff.

Wall Street Teaches us that Making Money is Good for the Economy.
But they still seem yet to learn
Sharing it and Spreading it around are Better for the Economy.
They are catching on…
WARREN BUFFET and BILL GATES’ THE GIVING PLEDGE has been signed by over 100 of the World’s Top Billionaires.
I wish for You Great Economic Success
And that you will share that with Others…

Benjamin, Toronto

Benjamin. Toronto, Ontario

You say that you know who you are.
Yes.
But that is more of a Life Process.
I am still discovering who I am.
You are Young.
So unless Knowing that You don’t know Everything about Who You Are
is a Part of Who You Are,
Then you actually don’t know Who You Are.
It is about Humility and Willingness and Owning That.
It is about Acclaiming what you Don’t Know as Much as What You Know.
It is about Letting Go of any concept of having arrived at a Destination
And Embracing the Commencement of a Journey.

Embark now upon the Life Ahead.

THIS
NOW
Is the BEGINNING…
It is your Own Journey.
No one can ride your Ride.
Everyone has a ticket to their own Ride.
I can’t come on your Ride
Anymore than you can come on mine.
So, Fear Not.
It is Your Ride.
Now, Where shall you take it?

If you are Lucky Enough to be Healthy
Then you are Lucky Enough.
What shall you do with your Good Health?
When I graduated College, the AIDS Crisis hit.
So many Young and Healthy Men, no older than you, lost their lives.
So suddenly.
But You are Here.
So what is it you would like to Make Happen?

Cassidy. Toronto, Ontario

Cassidy. Toronto, Ontario

You are Youthful.
As we said in the Sixties, Youth is made for Heroism, Not for Pleasure.
OK, Young Hero
It is your time
Venture Forth.

There is pretty much nothing you cannot do.
And it is OK to make mistakes while Learning.
All that is required is that you Show up for your Life.
If you are an Actor, get yourself to those Auditions
Every Day
If you are a Painter, Paint Something.
Can’t afford Paints, Draw Something.
If you are an Equestrian or an Astronomer or a Nurse or an Historian,
Get to work.

Chelsea, Columbia School of Nursing

Chelsea, Columbia School of Nursing

When I graduated College, my Medical Doctor, ALI GOKHAN,
saw me for a physical and asked how I was.
I told him that I had just graduated college, and I was scared.
He looked me directly in the eye,
And from his experience of the Third World Country in which he grew up,
Summoning from the limited English Vocabulary he had,
He spoke,
pointing his Index Finger with his thumb out, he said only,
“You have a gun. USE IT!”

YES!
YES!
YES!
You are Empowered. Live Empowered.
You are Educated.
That is Not Nothing.
For most of us here in North America, that means our predecessors
Made Great Sacrifices so that this Dream could be realized.
Your Life ahead is the Realization of that Dream.

I knew your Great GrandMother
She came to this Country with Such Pain and Heartache
And a Dream.
I knew your GrandMother
And I watched her give her All
So that that Dream would materialize for your Mother.
I knew your Mother
I saw her Work and Fight and Build
And With Bravery
And Courage
And Finesse
Protect that Dream for You
So that you would have the Foundation
The Education
The Ability
And Every Advantage
that these Extraordinary Women could collectively give you.
You do not walk this Path alone.

You have it now
Heritage
Pedigree
Education

You are Fully Prepared
On the precipice
And poised to Fly

You have Wings
You have Multitudes of Angels to Assist You
You need only call upon them
And Believe.

Marisol. Yale University, CT

Marisol. Yale University, CT

I knew your GrandFather
He was a SelfMade Man.
I knew your Father
He never understood the True Hero he was,
So concerned with You was he
He worked his Life and compromised Dreams you never knew about,
Just so you would have a Better Future.
That Future is now the Present
This is That Moment.
Commencement.

Decisions were made to bring you into this World
Just this Way
One Decision here Created the Body
The Other from whence you came, Gave it Life.

An Infinite Number of Souls in Line to Manifest
to Live
to Learn
to Experience Life in Human Form
the feel of Cool Water on your Naked Body
Bravery…
Curiosity…

And YOU got One
This One
This Very Beautiful and Highly Functioning Anatomy
Do Not Put Down what you are in your Physical Manifestation.
Embrace it.
Celebrate it.
Learn what it has to Teach You!

IMG_4784Now you can Feel
Taste
Smell
Hear
See
You may know what it is to Wake with the Sun
and Learn
and Age
To Love
To Help Others
To Be a Part of Community

To Dream
To Express
To Read and to Write
To Cry and To Laugh
To Experience the Hand of the Divine Creator
Guiding You
Teaching You
Blessing You

To Taste from the Tree of Knowledge
To Contribute
To Learn from Disappointment
To Rise Again
To Help Others
To Get Better at Doing Things
To Fail until you Succeed
To Forge an Indomitable Peace for All Humankind
To Grow…

Move Forward

Maybe begin from a place of Gratitude.
Maybe begin by saying, “Thank You!”
Acknowledge what you have.
You cannot imagine the throngs of people who would give anything to have the education that seems to you so commonplace.
You can Read and Write.
Your Starting Place is a Miracle.

Start in Gratitude.

Hanora. Manteca, California

Hanora. Manteca, California

Create
Create Something Beautiful
Create a New and Better World
Create that which is your Vision

Be Creative.
Not reaCtive
Move that C to the Front
Always Keep those Letters in the Best Possible Order.

IMG_4782You are Ready to Begin
This way of Life you have Always Known
Is Giving Way
To Something New
and Better
The Chrysalis, so warm, peaceful and protective, clangs open at last
And you emerge
Allow this Commencement
Embrace this New Leg of the Journey
Home to YourSelf

It may seem scary
And Impossible to know what to do.
Take an Action.

You may Experience that feeling again in the years ahead
Fear Not
Take a Good Look at the Options presented you
And do the Next Right Thing
But Do It.
Put your phone Away
And Stop Wasting Time with Diversion.
The Course in Miracles says,
“Child of God, you were Created to Create the Good, the Beautiful and the Holy.
Do not forget this.”

IMG_4767Remember Always
Always
The point of Power is in the Present Moment

Never Let remorse about the Past
Nor confusion about the Future
Play any Role in your life
Live in the Present.
Embrace this Moment.

What can you do to activate your Dream this Year?
What Action can you take in the next three months?
…in the next 30 days?
…in the next week?
…in the next day?
…in the next hour?
…in the next minute?
…Now?

I wish you a Journey Full of Wonder

You carry in your hand an implement that can access all cumulative knowledge since the beginning of humankind
Please don’t just use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with people.

Argue. Yes.
But do not Argue to Win.
Argue to Learn.

And Love.
My Mother would often tell me of her Uncle Nick.
When she was a little girl, he would visit
And as he took his leave, he always offered the same Blessing:
“Love One Another.”

Now
As You Commence
I offer you that same Blessing
Take Care of Yourselves. And One Another.
Love.
Love One Another.

Remey. Vancouver, BC

Remey. Vancouver, BC

Spread your Wings
Any Confusion, Disappointment, or Frustration you may be feeling —
Accept that as your Push
And Fly…

20150613_211314This is the Commencement of Something Wonderful…

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1 Comment

  1. janine villano

     /  June 16, 2015

    ARNOLD ( Will )…you are a prolific writer ( which I’ve only just discovered after knowing you for 35 years ) Your soul resonates such Love and Beauty. Thanks for including Samantha in this piece and thanks for being my best friend…( xx. Grace )

    Reply

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