Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Honorary Degree

I didn't place much importance on the commencements of my youth. I completed the requirements, I graduated.  These were launching pads not retrospectives.

But watching these ceremonies as a mother, aunt and sister is altogether different.  Now I tear up at "Pomp and Circumstance," get goose bumps from an academic procession. It's clearer to me now that these are true endings and beginnings, the kind of clear line life seldom hands us.

It's also clear that for many, a degree is not a given. And for every smiling graduate there is someone who will not walk across a stage this year, someone who may never have worn a gown, hood or mortar board. Their reasons for not doing so are legion, and may have nothing to do with intelligence or drive. For like their robed compatriots, they too have completed difficult assignments.

So this post is for them, an honorary degree of sorts. Maybe there will be no diploma this year, but there was learning and effort and sacrifice. To the great, un-graduated multitudes, I offer my humble, heartfelt congratulations.

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