Dear Briarcliff High School Class of 2015: Congratulations on your many wonderful accomplishments and, most of all, congratulations on completing that extraordinary four-year journey we call high school. I speak with great confidence and a unique insight when I say that you are well prepared to move beyond the confines of this little hamlet of Briarcliff and the rolling pastures of Pocantico Hills.
Impressive in both measure and diversity, you have demonstrated great scholarship, artisanship, sportsmanship and leadership. Have confidence in what you have done, in what you have overcome, and what you have achieved. And, let that confidence embolden your choices and your future endeavors.
As you head out into the world that awaits you, there will be those who will try to convince you that life is a series of destinations. Rebuke this notion. What is the pleasure in reading only the last chapter of a book? Set goals for yourself, but do not become consumed by ever-greater levels of attainment. Enjoy and appreciate the people and the opportunities that surround you. There will be those who tell you that in life it is the journey that matters. Reject that idea. A journey without an intention can be devoid of both meaning and accomplishment. Be purposeful in your thoughts and in your deeds. And, there will be those who will try to convince you that life is the process of discovering “who you are.” Resist this thought. Life is the process of creating yourself – one experience, one action, one choice at a time.
So, as you turn the last page of this chapter in your life, I hope you look back with fondness at the times you toiled and struggled and the times you sang with delight and laughter. Recount the things about which you fretted and the joys you celebrated. In the process of becoming who you are today, you have brought your teachers, staff and me much happiness and wonderful memories. As you continue to author your life’s story, may you be mindful of each moment, excited about each day, embrace each new opportunity, and may you be satisfied with the person you become tomorrow.