To the 2008 class: bask in your moment

&8220;Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.&8221;

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Students all over Shelby County will be celebrating one of life&8217;s great milestones this week as they graduate from high school.

Those of us fortunate enough to live in a county with a high graduation rate can sometimes consider this event as a simple right of passage; it is much more.

This week, students and families will celebrate the culmination of nearly two decades of effort. They will celebrate what has been accomplished.

They will reflect on the obstacles faced. They will celebrate what is to come. And they will glow with pride.

The importance of their accomplishment cannot be overstated. Someday, these graduating seniors will become bankers, electricians, deputy sheriffs, mothers, mechanics, educators, accountants and the like.

They will run our cities.

They will lead our churches. They will raise the next generation.

Nor can the role of parents, teachers, coaches and administrators be overemphasized; they each played a pivotal role in the education and shaping of these graduating seniors.

And they deserve the thanks of all of us for a job well done.

Theodor S. Geisel wrote in his book &8220;Oh, the places you&8217;ll go!&8221; the following advice: &8220;Today is your day, you&8217;re off to great places!

You&8217;re off and away! You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can direct yourself any direction you choose. Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don&8217;t worry.

&8220;Don&8217;t stew. Just go right along.

You&8217;ll start happening too.

You&8217;ll be on your way up!

You&8217;ll be seeing great sights!

You&8217;ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

And when you&8217;re in a slump, you&8217;re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

And will you succeed?

Yes!

You will, indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So … get on your way!&8221;

Congratulations to all of you, seniors and parents alike, and best of luck in accomplishing your next milestone.