Yo Joan! Honoring those who feel alone at a time of graduation and celebration

“Yeah the beat goes on”

– Sonny & Cher

Congratulations graduate! You struggled, you persevered, you made it - yay! Woohoo! There’s so many happy end of school festivities to attend and it’s all so completely and utterly fantastic. Wow! YES!

But sorry… hey there…yoo-hoo…excuse me…umm…hello?

Might you possibly know of someone, or could you actually be someone, who’s not attending the parties? Perhaps you don’t feel you fit in, whether its graduation, or Christmas, or birthdays, or… heck, anytime there are social gatherings you feel awkward and out of place. Maybe this happens occasionally or maybe often.

Well, if you relate to the feeling of being on the outside looking in, whether yesterday, today, or tomorrow, I can tell you an absolute, unequivocal fact you can take with you wherever you go. It exists everywhere in our world - across the board, across the street, across the city and across the world! It’s astounding and absolutely TRUE.

You are not alone!

There’s an amazing amount of people who are shy or awkward or picked on or left out or don’t know how to become involved or don’t know if they even want to become involved in this crazy mixed up world we live in.

Yet many magnificent leaders and perhaps all spiritual guides have lived through this type of social suffering too. Each one took time to figure out and forge their unique way in the world. Some were initially shunned and slowly worked their way into great acceptance. Some eventually fit in only to be shunned. One in particular died alone on a cross thousands of years ago yet his spiritual teachings live on to this day in guiding millions.

One thing all great leaders have had in common are their abilities to look past their own suffering and increase their compassion for others. They all lived through difficult lessons and they all noticed, and honored, the person in the corner.

You can too.

At almost every juncture in your life path you’ll have choices to make between the curses of pride and the blessings of humility. Which path will you choose to follow? Your choices will affect you. They’ll affect me. They’ll affect us all. Greatly. Please choose well.

I sincerely thank you, graduate, from the bottom of my heart. I thank you for your struggles. I thank you for seeing mine. Soon you’ll be our leader – our teacher in a world that too often honors and applauds those undeserving of accolades. You can certainly change that through one simple act of kindness at a time. One thoughtful welcome to that person struggling in the corner. And there are so many corners of the world to explore. It takes courage to be kind. It’s not always easy. Yet one small gesture, one kind heart can make a world of difference.

Continue your journey ever stronger in your kindnesses. Sure you may goof up sometimes, but you know that. You understand.

You have a heart.

Now follow it.