Today was graduation day at my place of employment. There were about probably about 70 students graduating.
It was really touching, one part because the parents of my friend that has been gone for almost two years were there to give the recipient of his scholarship the award, and secondly the speaker.
The speaker is a former student and graduated in 1991. He told the students a story, and that it was true.
A young man was molested starting at the age of 10, by a friend of the family. The abuse went on for 5 years; he was verbally abused by the only other male figure in his life, his grandfather.
At 15, the young man dropped out of school and thought he found love, but what he found was more abuse. Throughout his life, he was constantly told that he would never be anything and was just no good.
He found someone he thought loved him, but the relationship turned violent as well. One night, the young man found himself being dragged ½ mile by a chain around his neck and left in a deserted building’s parking lot. He walked eight miles in the middle of the night. During that walk, he came to him that he had to take control of his life or he would not have one.
He went back to school and stayed away from the house from 8am to 9:30pm. He did that for 3 years, and graduated. During graduation, the song that was sung was “The Greatest Love of All” that was recorded by Whitney Houston. He said the words made him realize he did not need to look for someone else to love him, the greatest love of all was learning to love himself.
In closing, he said that eighteen years later that young man that I spoke of stands before you because I made choices to be successful and to changed my destiny.
Not only did he complete our program before he left, he had received his associates degree in Computer Information Systems. He is working co-owner of his own business.
I thought about everything he said. You know sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we think our problems are most paramount. You never know what someone else is going through. Someone else can be a whole lot worse off than you.
On top of that, you can achieve what you put your mind too. There will always be haters, and even some that tell you that you will not amount to anything. You have to listen to that voice inside of you and keep on. Dreams are dreams until they become reality; they become reality with your perseverance.
Lyrics from Greatest Love of All
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all