As life-defining events go, “graduation” is often considered to be one of the primary ones. For some, it can be a time to celebrate the milestone that has been accomplished, a time to reflect on the journey that has brought one this far, a time to express gratitude to all those who may have helped us along the way, and a time to look ahead to the next milestone. For others, graduation can be a portal, a doorway, an opportunity to begin anew, a new journey and a new phase of life.
My personal journey of formal education gave me many opportunities to graduate, and even though I did not attend any of the ceremonies until the one for my final degree award, they all were significant milestones. Each graduation opened the door to a new learning environment, new teachers and friendships, a breath of fresh ideas, and an awareness that the world was indeed my oyster. All I had to do was accept the opening invitation.
It has been many years since my own graduations, and now, I look forward to experiencing them every year through the eyes and words of my friends’ and relatives’ children. The light in their eyes, their hope to effect change and transformation, their desire for improved equality and justice, and much more, is written large in their essays and stories and actions.
So, how may we, our generation, best serve the graduates of today? If personal example is the best way to demonstrate leadership, then perhaps we can ask — what is our next graduation milestone? What is our (spiritual) curriculum? Who are our friends, our teachers, our guides, our mentors, our confidantes on our (spiritual) journey? Are we going regularly to ‘class’ or are we ‘sleeping in’ more often than not? Are we taking initiative and ‘asking for help’ outside of class when we know we are stuck on a project or assignment? Are we aware of our fellow students’ struggles and lending a listening ear or a book or a song, or providing a gentle nudge when we discern the need?
Yes. Graduation can take on many colors and hues and in this season. Maybe our own progress towards painting our masterpiece is light enough for others to pick up their paint brushes and share with us their strokes of genius.
P.S. Join us in our weekly conversation on Twitter – Sunday, June 2 at 9amET / 630pm India, as we continue our journey. I will bring some questions, along with some tea. It is in the journey together, towards graduation, that we can unveil the answer to the grand question – “what is That, knowing which, all else can be known?” Namaste – Kumud
Looking ahead – towards the next horizon, the next graduation…