May 26, 2006


Life’s lessons for all generations

Life’s lessons come at us quickly and subtly every day.

What touches one generation may never cross the path of another. But sometimes, words or actions last a lifetime and are worth sharing.

With that in mind, see if you can guess who is represented by the following statements:

• They’ve probably never seen a television without a remote control.

• They don’t realize that before compact discs and cassettes there were vinyl records.

• They are among those that vividly remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and are following events of the Iraqi War because they have family or friends serving overseas.

• Cell phones and iPods are also a part of their everyday life.

• They believe God has a plan for their life, and their faith is very important to them.

Who forms this unique group?

They are the 17- and 18-year-old students currently donning caps and gowns and readying themselves to walk down the aisle with classmates one last time.

If you’re a high school senior, that scene is now being repeated for each of you at high schools throughout central and southern Indiana. No doubt the day will become a snapshot in the life of each member of the Class of 2006.

We congratulate each senior as they reach this milestone.

The thousands who graduate from area high schools also are invariably hearing words of wisdom from guest speakers, classmates who are valedictorians and salutatorians, and from parents and family as they prepare for their next chapter in life.

We, too, feel compelled to offer tidbits of wisdom from Postcards From Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Brown authored the book several years ago as fatherly advice and words of counsel for his son before he left home to begin his freshman year at college.

We believe Brown’s timeless advice is worth sharing with any generation, including the Class of 2006, so following are several of his suggestions:

• Get your priorities straight.

• Go the distance. When you accept a task finish it.

• Commit yourself to constant improvement.

• Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.

• Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

• Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed.

• Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.

• Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love.

• Never compromise your integrity.

• Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.

• Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.

As graduating seniors are learning, this is an exciting time, a time of uncertainty, yet one filled with promise as they wonder where life’s next step will take them.

Some are ready to move on to college; others may enter the military; some may be ready to jump into the business world and begin a full-time career; others may begin or continue to discern a call to the priesthood or religious life.

As our Catholic faith teaches us, there is no right or wrong answer. We are unique individuals each called to a unique “vocation” by God.

We encourage parents to let their children know they love them unconditionally no matter what path they choose in life.

As the Class of 2006 prepares to take another step in their journey of faith, we ask them to reflect on the words that the late Pope John Paul II shared at the closing Mass at World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
keep these young people in your love.
Let them hear your voice
and believe what you say,
for you alone have the words of life.
Teach them how to profess their faith,
bestow their love,
and impart their hope to others.
Make them convincing witnesses to your Gospel in a world so much in need of your saving grace.
Make them the new people of the Beatitudes, that they may be the salt of the earth and the light of the world at the beginning of the third Christian millennium!
Mary, Mother of the Church, protect and guide these young men and women of the 21st century.
Keep us all close to your maternal heart. Amen.

— Mike Krokos


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