Remember how we forgot?
How we never actually played by the rules we were taught
Because each thought came from our minds and our imaginations were running wild, and our dreams included becoming princesses, rock stars, dinosaurs, and garbage men.
And nobody told us we couldn’t because after all, we were just “silly kids”?
Remember how the worst fights were over who broke the brightest crayon and who got the last bite but everyone was still friends
Because, that was before we were taught that all good things must end?
Remember when love filled our hearts, instead of draining them,
So we never dared bet against Annie because we were absolutely sure that the Sun would come out tomorrow,
Then we reached high school,
Then we “grew up”,
Remember how we forgot?
We started going by all the rules against which we fought.
And our thoughts became as standardized as the tests we took.
We gave up hope on becoming princesses when society told us there were no happy endings.
The stars in our eyes dimmed when musicians were replaced by a computer with a pretty face.
We forgot about T-rex when our creativity was thrown out by the “5 paragraph essay.”
So we assumed the role of garbage man and took out the “trash”
With every FCAT, SAT, ACT, ABC test they could think of
To measure our aptitude, to measure our achievement.
Then society preached individuality and originality
When the reality is that it was driven out of us
The same way the innocence was driven out of us when the fights turned into wars,
When arguments couldn’t be solved with a simple, “I’m sorry,”
When we lost friends over race, greed, and mistakes.
And hearts began breaking more often than beating because that’s when we stopped believing in the sureness of the Sun.
But I think society does that on purpose—
Tries to create formulas for every aspect of our lives.
I think they do that to separate us from the imitators,
The contenders from the pretenders,
The motivated and passionate from the ones who gave up and gave in because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that without passion, you have nothing.
Every single obstacle we have overcome was deliberately set in our path to test us.
We are those who looked, laughed, and rose to the challenge.
We did what we needed to do and more by staying true to ourselves and to our dreams.
We worked hard and made it.
Our dreams may have shifted, but our fire is lit.
So no matter what we become;
Doctors, teachers, CEOs, or beach bums,
I implore you to be an inspiration to all and to never again forget how all of our paths have crossed,
How we’ve shaped and inspired each other in these pivotal years of our lives.
Never again forget the friends we’ve made,
The memories we’ve created,
The causes for which we’ve fought.
Never again forget the simplicity and unpredictability of this phenomenon we call life.
Rather, take these ideas and these beliefs
And transform them into a life of passion, a life of purpose and pass it on.
Build your legacy out of what you have done and what you are doing for others, not yourself, because one day, you won’t be here anymore and
One day, people may forget you.
But I promise you that if you lead a life of selflessness, of inspiration, of passion,
Then your fire won’t be quieted with your breath and it will be remembered.
It will take more than one person to change this world, to undo what we’ve done,
But I know for a fact that it only takes one to inspire, to motivate, and to believe that a change will come and that is a contagious idea.
So catch this fever and together as one
We’ll spread it like a wildfire never to be extinguished.
And even when we are, somebody somewhere will know that it was us who started the fire.