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Column: Let's combine forces for a better future

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- So. May 20th, 2011. It's happenin'. It's happenin'. The final day of our senior year, here at Worthington High School. Today is the end of the beginning, and tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives. Finally, to hear your name, walk the stage, grin on your face, grab that diploma that you have been earning for the last 12 to 13 years.

This is it. Tomorrow? Life. And if you don't want to get lost, you should think about where you're going. Because everyone knows that to get to the buried treasure, you'll need a map.

But where to get this map? Well, as it turns out, you've been drawing it over the last decade! Deciding what your likes and dislikes are, what you want to do for a living, what kind of person you are, and what kind of person you want to become.

And you haven't been drawing it yourself. You've had the help of parents, friends, teachers, role models, substitutes, coaches, janitors, paraprofessionals, lunch ladies, counselors and mentors to help show you where the chasms lie, and where the shortcuts are.

It's taken over half of your life to draw this map. It's right over there, on that little piece of paper with your name on it. Customized. Form-fitted. Made just for you. Ready to be taken for a spin.

And the best part is, you don't have to go it alone! Actually, it's better that you don't. Everyone in this room is better at different things. If we were all the same, life would be pretty boring. Seen one, seen 'em all, right? But no! We are all unique individuals, with unique strengths and weaknesses. Working alone only lets you accomplish a small amount of things, and not even that can be done if we don't think we can do it.

But, if everyone believes in themselves, and if everyone believes in each other, then we can combine our forces together for a better future! Life is a stupendous, tremendous, baffling thing-a-ma-jig, where each gear, belt and spring is significant, and once you realize that every cog has its place, and every bearing does its part, then not only does the machine work better, but then you have a greater appreciation of every piece that makes it work.

Humanity defined is a plural noun meaning "all human beings, collectively." It's made of countries, made of provinces, made of districts, cities, communities, families, made of people. Humanity, all seven billion people that live on this big rock floating in space, when whittled down, shows that its main ingredient is you! And you. And you, and you and you and you and you! The main ingredient of humanity is, get this, humans.

But to get humanity, you need all human beings, collectively. That last part is essential. Collectively. People need to work together in order to thrive together.

And that takes teamwork. But what's teamwork made of? "Me at Work." It's no mistake that humanity is made of humans, it's no mistake that we group together into families, communities and countries. It's because it works. It's because it's important. It's because it's necessary.

It all starts with you, and it all starts tomorrow. It may seem like a big burden to put on your shoulders, but there's everyone in this room, this state, this world to help you! We're all in this together.

But enough of me talking. How about them diplomas?