Like most of you today, my feelings are really overwhelming. I know, you guys are as excited about this event as I am so excited to speak before you today. Not so long ago, I was seating exactly where you are right now and hearing an inspirational talk from a guest speaker back then. Yes, I am but a proud alumna of T. Paez and soon you too will be part of the Alumni. I never really imagined myself addressing you for your Recognition Day. I never thought I could be the right person to inspire you today. Nevertheless, here I am, years after I made my first wise choice.
That choice back in 1981 gave me freedom and life that I have today. Today, T. Paez will name those outstanding students who brought honors to themselves, and to this school. As we, you gather here and start viewing those simple and ordinary faces, you will realize that these achievers are exactly as everyone else. The only thing different is that, they have made their choices. That is to STAND and be recognized in the area where they choose to be the best one. It is a matter of CHOICE. It is between doing the right thing or not, or be recognized in good things or in all foolish activities.
You see, life is but an everyday activity filled with options. It is a daily routine to choose… and to decide…which one to pick up and which one to set aside. You started your day by waking up asking yourselves if you are feeling going to school or not, if will you have your Mommy’s breakfast or just have some food in school instead, or it will be a just plainly picking up colors for the day. Things like these, without you realizing, we are actually having tireless choosing and deciding moments the whole day.
But this morning I will give a big significance on this human activity which is our freedom to choose. Our freedom to choose includes freedom NOT to choose. By these two opposing but actually related liberties, we need to choose both for our benefit. This is easy as we are just going to use our freedom to choose, to select the good and the useful for us. While on the other hand, you have to use your freedom NOT choose for those immaterial to you, for those irrelevant and seems to be a waste of time.
Today you are seating here, others are watching around and waiting to be finally witnessed who the achievers this year. Let me tell you this, this event is not only for those who achieved something and pinned with medals but also for others to get inspired to achieve something. Medal is one thing and achieving is another thing. It does not mean that if you did not get any medal you can achieve anything later on. You may not be recognized today for your outstanding things you have done, but soon enough you will be recognized and applauded with need of any medal.
So what I am actually pointing out is that with or without the medals, you all can be achievers. WE can all be achievers. It is just a matter of choice and choosing the right one. Eventually, batch after batch you gain the freedom to exit through the portal of this school in order to face a new life and a new challenge, and to pursue your happiness based on YOUR CHOICE. You have been empowered to choose, and right here – right at this very moment, you need to reconsider the choice you have made before you finally get through with that gate (point the gate)-make your tough choice.
Why? Because this will eventually change the course of your lives towards the future, as you are heading towards you goals. This will change you and your personalities before the eyes of everyone. You must remember the road to success has never been easy. It is an up and down rough road, and life out there is a jungle full of formidable traps and unnecessary stops. Time and opportunity have their own ways to test you just to keep you away from reaching your choice. You must fight hard and fight back all the time. Back in time, we must say that poverty is not a hindrance to success.
That is absolutely true. Although it is becoming stereotype slogan, today I must tell that YES indeed poverty is never an obstacle but rather an inspiration to reach our goals to go further beyond those traps and stops get through to the valley of vast land of skyscrapers and life style of high technology. Think about pain and hardship you guys are encountering and think about an escape plan from this hardship. Use it as your motivation and as you weapon to beat poverty itself. Let poverty deteriorate from its inside. You will see after every positive step you have won, success is never been sweeter.
It doesn’t mean that if you cannot be an astronaut; you can never be a pilot too? Or if you cannot be a pilot, it doesn’t mean you can never be in the airplane? If you cannot be a school teacher, it doesn’t mean you cannot be a mentor to others. And think about this, not only the doctors take care of the sick; you can always be a nurse. And the same is TRUE that if your parents cannot afford to send you to college it doesn’t mean you can never be in college and finish you study. You belong to new breed and new generation.
The generation of cell phones and laptops, finishing your college education is no longer too impossible if you will really TRY. If you will really STRIVE, not hard – but harder. This is your dream and this is your choice, we have constitutional freedom to choose, use it! And from this day on you have to choose the right thing. Nobody must stop you, not even your own self. GO for it! You have to lay down your rules. Lay down your plans, and make a self analysis. You must understand, that most of the time the paths going to your dream will never be a straight one and seldom are there for shortcuts.
Patience is a virtue and it is the order of the day, every single day. You will meet a lot of people, tens of thousands of them and you need to interact with them. You might forget who is sitting next to you today, but never forget your choice and those people who help you on the way up, as you go up higher and on your way down. Well of course, as you traverse the density of life, you cannot just go through by yourself without people close to you. People you know and people you are about to know. As the saying goes, “Do unto others what you want other do unto you” and BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS all the time.
It will level you up and boost your energy in this game of life when you do well to others. Try contributing noble things and try to share; you don’t need to expect something in return because for sure blessing awaits you as your reward at the end of the day. This is a challenge to all of you, both those who have been recognized for their remarkable achievement this year and to those who have been in their silence but doing equally great things in their fields: WILL YOU GO FURTHER OR WILL YOU STOP RIGHT HERE? It’s your choice.