Santa Rosa Primary School Graduating Class of 2018 Presents Find Joy in the Journey Friday 29th June, 2018
- Madam Chair, Mrs. Bernic Vespay-Thorpe
- Ms. Shivonne Victor, Principal Primary School
- Ms. Aina Olukayode, Vice Principal
- Representatives from TTUTA, Ministry of Education and School Support Services
- Mr. Jadoo, major stakeholder and Godfather to the School
- Parents, Guardians
- Specially invited Guests
- And most importantly, Graduates
What a spectacular day! I am very honoured to be here to share this very special day with you. Today is an important milestone in your journey of life and I know some of you have been very anxious and excited to get to this day, very excited to finish your SEA exams, get your results and move on to secondary school. You are so excited about the next phase and while your excitement and enthusiasm is good it’s important that you understand…….life isn’t a race; and we must find joy in the journey. Sometimes we forget to enjoy the journey and focus only on the destination.
As I heard the song that you so proudly entered to, “The Journey” by Christpher ‘Tambu’ Herbert, I listened, and I hope you listened to the message in the music… Your Journey has really now begun, your story has just started, and I pray that you “Find Joy in the Journey”
I want to share with you a story about Peter and the Golden Thread from the book “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”.
Peter was a young boy who could never live in the moment.
When he was in school, he dreamed of being outside playing.
When he was outside playing, he dreamed of his summer vacation.
Peter constantly daydreamed, never taking the time to savour the special moments that filled his days.
One morning, Peter was out walking in a forest near his home. Feeling tired, he decided to rest on a patch of grass and eventually dozed off.
After only a few minutes of deep sleep, he heard someone calling his name.
“Peter! Peter!” came the shrill voice from above.
As he slowly opened his eyes, he was startled to see a striking woman standing above him. She must have been over a hundred years old and her snow-white hair dangled well below her shoulders like a matted blanket of wool.
In this woman’s wrinkled hand was a magical little ball with a hole in the centre and out of the hole dangled a long, golden thread.
“Peter,” she said, “this is the thread of your life. If you pull the thread just a bit, an hour will pass in seconds. If you pull harder, whole days will pass in minutes. And if you pull with all your might, months – even years – will pass by in days.”
Peter was very excited by this new discovery.
“I’d like to have it if I may?” he asked.
The elderly woman quickly reached down and gave the ball with the magic thread to the young boy.
The next day, Peter was sitting in the classroom feeling restless and bored. Suddenly, he remembered his new toy. As he pulled a little bit of the golden thread, he quickly found himself playing in his garden.
Realising the power of the magic thread, Peter soon grew tired of being a schoolboy and longed to be a teenager, with all the excitement that phase of life would bring.
So again he held the ball and pulled hard on the golden thread.
Suddenly, he was a teenager with a very pretty girlfriend named Elise.
But Peter still wasn’t content.
He had never learned to enjoy the moment and to explore the simple wonders of every stage of his life. Instead, he dreamed of being an adult, so again he pulled hard on the thread and many years flew by in an instant.
Now he found that he was transformed into a middle-aged adult. Elise was now his wife and Peter was surrounded by a houseful of kids.
But Peter noticed something else.
His once jet-black hair had started to turn grey and his once youthful mother, whom he loved so dearly had grown old and frail.
Yet Peter still could not live in the moment. He had never learned to live in the now, so once again, he pulled on the magic thread and waited for the changes to appear.
Peter now found that he was a ninety-year-old man. His thick dark hair had turned white as snow and his beautiful young wife, Elise, had also grown old and had passed away a few years earlier.
His wonderful children had grown up and left home to lead lives of their own.
For the first time in his entire life, Peter realised that he had not taken the time to embrace the wonders of living.
He had never gone fishing with his kids or taken a moonlight stroll with Elise. He had never planted a garden or read those wonderful books his mother had loved to read.
Instead, he had hurried through life, never resting to see all that was good along the way.
Peter became very sad at this discovery. He decided to go out to the forest where he used to walk as a boy to clear his head and warm his spirit.
As he entered the forest, he noticed that the little saplings of his childhood had grown into mighty oaks. The forest itself had matured into a paradise of nature.
He laydown on a small patch of grass and fell into a deep slumber.
After only a minute, he heard someone calling out to him.
“Peter! Peter!” cried the voice.
He looked up in astonishment to see that it was none other than the old woman who had given him the ball with the magic golden thread many years earlier.
“How have you enjoyed my special gift?” she asked.
“At first it was fun, but now I hate it.” he responded bluntly, “My whole life has passed before my eyes without giving me the chance to enjoy it. Sure, there would have been sad times as well as great times, but I haven’t had the chance to experience either. I feel empty inside. I have missed the gift of living.”
I love this story as it reminds me to enjoy the present and not wish away my life. The future will come soon enough and there is lots to look forward to with all that God has in store for you, but in the mean-time, aim to enjoy, savour and maximise every moment.
This morning you stand at a crossroad where each one of you will take a new direction in your life’s journey. A poet by the name of Walt Whitman once said “Not I – not anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it for yourself.”
I want to leave you with three (3) pieces of advice.
Advice number one (1) – Do not be in too big of a hurry to grow up. Life is a journey of everyday experiences, teaching you moment in, moment out, who you really are. These are some great times in your life. Don’t rush past them.
My second (2) piece of advice – Enjoy every moment of your Secondary school life. I encourage you to get involve in a school activity, music, drama, dance, the debate club. Enjoy meeting new friends and enjoy the willingness to learn new things from your teachers.
My third and last piece of advice – Trust God in whatever you do and he will lead you where you are supposed to go. He loves you more than you know. Continue to serve and trust him and in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.
To the very proud and beaming parents, I know what a special day this is for you. Without your commitment, sacrifice and love, this day would not have happened. To the very relieved teachers, thank you for steering these students in the right direction. Congratulations on your special day.
God bless, and best wishes as you embrace and enjoy this new chapter of your lives.