Late this week you can expect to see a lot of young people wearing big grins.
Look at what else they will be wearing.
It would be hard to imagine convicing today's youth, or the youth of any generation in recent memory, that it would be right in fashion to go around dressed alike- with the boys all one color and the girls all one color.
To match that, tell both boys and girls they will be wearing gowns so long they have to be careful not to trip, and on their heads- they will wear matching hats of the most peculiar design. Imagine telling them to wear skull caps topped with a square, and dangling from that square, a tassle that threatens to dangle in front of their face at every step.
Yet that is what we do. Our graduation vestmants are a time-honored tradition in a world that no longer seems to have as many constants as it once did.
Graduates today face a world in turmoil. Like waves on a rough sea, our destiny is tossed about and we sometimes wonder if we will make it to the other side. Pressures are immense to compromise and tempt us to let them steal what is truly pure or right. Will we as a society hold together for the common good? Will we just float adrift or keep the straight and narrow course?
Most of us who are older may have a better sense of what we have to do or at least should do. Our young graduates, as mature and solid as they may feel, step out into a scary new world past the school grounds of stability. What lays ahead?
Better yet, what will they decide to do to help navigate the future and make this a better world? Do we even know what "better" is?
The graduation gowns and caps, as odd as they may look, somehow seem right for high school or college commencement. They offer us a literal cloak of stability. May our proud graduates not lose sight of the values that make our lives and our nation safe and at peace- with ourselves and one another. May they hold on to a strong and stable moral compass as they step out into a life time of decisions and risk. May we as adults be there to support them and give them a chance.
Congratulations to each and every one of our graduates. You give us all hope.