Saturday, May 10, 2008

"The" Perfect Graduation Gift

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great places.
You’re off and away. “

And that’s the way “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss begins.

I was introduced to this charming book last year at the high school graduation service at our church. Unusual to hear Dr. Seuss from the pulpit, but I realized how appropriate it was within a few minutes.

Like other Seuss books, it is full of rhyming and phrases that are unique to Seuss. (Think “98 and ¾ percent guaranteed”) Yet this book stands out as one written especially for the grown-up. Think of it as that fatherly talk you’d like to give, if only they’d listen.

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”

And he addresses that painful place called: “The Waiting Place”.

“Waiting for a train to go
Or a bus to come, or a plane to go
Or the mail to come, or the rain to go
Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
Or waiting around for a Yes or No
Or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting."

Graduation is a rite of passage in our culture, an earned rite of passage. And with that comes the greatest moment in our lives when we embrace what we have learned and move on to a bigger world. Whether you know a graduate from high school, med school, law school or any other school, this is the perfect gift.

One of the last lines in the book culminates why this makes that perfect gift: “Kid, you’ll move mountains.” Who can’t benefit from that kind of optimism?