“Wherever you are, be all there” once said Jim Elliot, a famous Christian evangelist.

The present is a time to cherish and appreciate, especially today as we are gathered here to celebrate the Redwood Valley High School Class of 2019.

Today, as we reflect on our past memories together and look forward to our future plans, I hope that you all, as students in the graduating class of 2019, take time to relish in the present.

Enjoy spending time with those around you whether you are visiting with family, classmates, or even the person right next to you in line to receive your diploma. Make genuine connections and conversation with those around you as you interact in the present.

After all as Eckhart Tolle once said, “In today’s rush, we all think too much - seek too much - want too much - and forget about the joy of just being.” 

Bill Keane once said “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift from God, which is why it is called the present.”

So as we are here together in this gym today and as we go out into the world to pursue what is next, whether it be post-secondary education of any kind, the military, or a career, we challenge you all to be present in your everyday lives.

We challenge you to focus on what is in front of you each and every day in the present moment. After all, you cannot change the past, but you may learn and grow from it in the present in order to strengthen your future.

So now as our speech is coming to a close, we would like to leave you with one last quote to capture the present moment that we are in.

“The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.” - Thich Nhat Hanh.

– Photo by Joshua Dixon