Celebrating those who graduate this year

This past weekend, afforded a tremendous time of celebration and reflection for me personally. The celebrations were mostly anchored in the family and church family celebrations honoring our graduating Class of 2019 for our community and throughout the entire county. This Wednesday evening is the Baccalaureate ceremony at the performing arts center for USD 408.

As I listened to the plans and dreams of many of our best and brightest soon to be Grads, I’m driven to reflections about their future and the future of our rural community. It was wonderful to hear from 100% of the Seniors in a local gathering that they are headed off to University to be equipped to address the challenges the future will hold.

To all our graduates, our thanks, appreciation, thoughts and prayers go with you as begin this next and exciting phase of your lives. And remember, there are 100’s if not 1,000’s of yellow ribbons tied around the hearts of those living in our wonderful community beckoning you to return after your university studies. The “Welcome Home” banner will always be flying for you.

The other reflections are all anchored in “What type of community are we creating for our young talent to return to”.

Our community is facing many decisions currently that will have generational impacts. Some of these decisions appear to have strong positions, lines being drawn, or sides being taken with perhaps limited conversation, dialogue, and verifiable information.

As I consider the current public discourse, my thoughts return to some wisdom that was graciously shared with me when I was about the same age as our graduating Class of 2019.

1. Choose to talk with someone, rather than about or at someone.

2. Let your love be stronger than your hate, anger, or mistrust.

3. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.

4. Choose to believe the best in a person rather than assuming the worst.

5. People have a tendency to live up to or down to the opinions we hold of them.

And the last was the one that hopefully has allowed for a perspective that we all will benefit from.

“Does this decision really have any meaning or relevancy in 100 years? If not, get on with things and enjoy the gifts of God…. Faith, Family and Friends”.

So, while we here at home, tackle the passionate issues of Windfarms, Transfer Stations, Towers, Roads, Recycling, HOA’s, Improvement Districts, Annexation, Housing, and Hospitals. Let’s remember our Best and Brightest are counting on us to have created a sustainable, respectful, enjoyable, and honorable community for them to return to.

May God richly Bless the Graduating Class of 2019!!!