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Jun 30

Chris Smeaton

Learn from yesterday, live for today, dream for tomorrow- St. Mary’s Taber Graduation Address

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Honoured Guests and especially to our St. Mary’s Graduates of 2017. It is always a pleasure to attend our graduation ceremonies and bring greetings on behalf of the entire school division.

I want to speak briefly about your grad theme, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, dream for tomorrow” but I want to really focus on the scripture reading you have chosen from the Book of Esther, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” Our education system is built on learn from yesterday. Other than pre-tests, you are generally assessed on what you learned in the past. Each day your foundational knowledge builds from what you learned yesterday and those building blocks continue to grow in preparation for what you may want to do into your future. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard says, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” There is a strong connection between what you have done in your past or what you have learned and what you do or want to dream about in the future. In the world of HR and business, we often use the statement and hire on the basis that, “the best predictor of future performance is past performance.” Your community at the school and your family and friends hope that you have learned enough from yesterday in order not only to dream of tomorrow but rather achieve tomorrow.

And that leads me to living for today and recognizing that “perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” The superficial version of living for today is carefree, with no responsibilities, and no care for anything or anyone else. It is about what is best for me and not what is best for the community. And while all of us here tonight have had moments of that superficial version of ourselves, it is not what we have been called to be or do. We have been created for today to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. This is where we are supposed to be, at this time and in this place. The moment is now, it is tomorrow and it will be always for which you have been created.

Live for today knowing that you have been created in the image and likeness of God. Live for today not for your own greatness, not for your own sake or own benefit. Rather live for today by what St. Teresa of Calcutta says, “Do small things with great love.”  You have learned from yesterday and dreamed of tomorrow but it is what you do today, what you have been created to do each day that will make your tomorrow pleasing to God. Live your life so that you honour every moment as the moment that you have been created for.

On behalf of the entire school division, I wish you congratulations and God’s blessings! Thank you!

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