I am so very proud of you. Now, as you prepare to embark on a new journey–your own journey–I’d like to share one piece of advice I wish I’d learned at your age:
Always remember that adversity is not a detour, it’s the path.
You will encounter obstacles. You will make mistakes. Be grateful for both. Your mistakes and failures will be your greatest teachers. And the only way to not make mistakes in this life is to do nothing, which is the biggest mistake of all.
Your challenges, if you’ll let them, will become your greatest allies. Mountains can crush or raise you, depending on which side of the mountain you choose to stand. All history bears out that the great–those who have changed the world–have all suffered great challenges. And, more times than not, it’s precisely those challenges that, in God’s time, lead to triumph.
Abhor victimhood. Denounce entitlement. Neither are gifts, rather cages to damn the soul. Everyone who has walked this earth is a victim of injustice. Everyone.
Most of all, do not be too quick to denounce your sufferings. The difficult road you are called to walk may, in fact, be your only path to success.
Remember, in the end, it is not the destination, but the manner in which you walked that reveals who you are. Walk well. Walk with love. And as you walk remember, always, that I love you.
With all my affection,
- by Richard Paul Evans