"you can kill a man but you can not kill an idea"
After a month of discussing the past, present, and future with a group of 34 high school seniors I have personally gathered a new outlook, or perspective so to speak on many different topics that I initially thought I would always hold steadfast convictions towards. With all of the mistakes that I've made, errors in judgement, and decisions that have led me to one dead end after another I have proudly realized every single experience is a defining moment in a legacy that I have begun to create yet have no idea exactly how it will turn out. You see for the past thirty days I have been asking students what kind of legacy do they see themselves leaving behind, how do they want to be remembered, and how do they want to be seen? At the age of seventeen years old I can't recall a day that went by when I was confident about my future or mindful of where I would be in 10 years let alone 10 minutes. But there I was self righteously demanding my seventeen year olds to map out a future and think of what kind of legacy they want to leave on the world. My true moment of clarity and honesty stems from a panel of guest speakers that also serve as very intelligent friends.
Masked behind stubborn fear I often forget to make myself vulnerable to the ideals of others who may just have some amazing perspective to offer to a situation. This panel of guest speakers not only opened up the eyes of my seniors but my eyes as well. For the first time in a while I was the one learning valuable lessons instead of teaching them. You see I've been labeled as many things and done my share of labeling while I hypocritically tell others to save the judgement for a higher power. I've given advice to others to move forward while my past still effects the outcomes of my present. But with that said these four friends, these amazingly wise and intuitive friends taught me that its alright to not have a plan, its okay if that plan changes, its okay to be afraid, but it is never okay to let the struggles and fear prevent you from being happy.
So I leave you with a few brief final words and thoughts. Yesterday may have been great or it may have been awful but yesterday is done. Tomorrow it might rain, you might cry or you might even win the lotto. But today at this moment this is what matters. You can't fix yesterday and you can not control tomorrow so don't bother. As hard as it may be and trust me I know, today, right now is the only moment you can define. Today is the moment that is defining your character, and building your legacy. Today is the day when your ideas transform your tomorrows and transcend any thing you have had to overcome in your yesterdays. "May the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows"
"We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught. He can be killed and forgotten. But four hundred years later an idea can still change the world. I've witnessed firsthand the power of ideas. I've seen people kill in the name of them; and die defending them. But you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it or hold it. Ideas do not bleed, it cannot feel pain, and it does not love. Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof"