Look forward but live in the now

By Luke Majerle, Guest Columnist

Well, here we are. Four years ago we walked into this same gymnasium as ninth graders. Link leaders invited us into this amazing school, and Mrs. Grams was all hyped up and excited for us to begin our journey in the high school. There are many delightful memories that we can treasure — sporting events, inspiring teachers and congenial friendships that will last a lifetime.

There are several experiences that we can look forward to — college, employment, marriage, children, sometimes even retirement. But we often get so caught up reminiscing about the past and looking to the future, that we forget to enjoy where we are at now.

American film director Jerry Zucker once said, “It doesn’t matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping. So get out there and go for it, but don’t be caught waiting. It’s great to plan for your future; just don’t live there, because really nothing ever happens in the future. Whatever happens, happens now, so live your life where the action is — now.”

Don’t let your future be an excuse not to do something today.

So what does graduation mean for us today? End of one thing, but a beginning of another?

Is it about getting ready for the grad parties, and all of the pictures? Or maybe it’s about where you are headed now and where you’ve been. Being thankful for everything and everyone, and thanking God for all that you are, and all that you have today.

It is so hard to live in the now, especially for our generation. The world around us is progressing so fast. Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that it seems like there is always something new. New TV, new phone, new car, new dating site.

We are constantly looking forward to the next big thing, looking forward to the future.

Rarely are we content with what we have.

But the future is dependent on what we do today.

When I think about the present, I think about whether I am making a significant positive difference in the lives of others; doing God’s will on earth. As Albert Einstein often said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

We should not strive to only be successful, but to be significant. Are you doing everything you can with what you have? Are you living a life of service to others? That is what makes life worthwhile. Be significant.

So as you experience graduation today, take it all in. As you walk across this stage, don’t be thinking about your friend’s awesome grad party or grad bash tonight. Take time to recognize the accomplishment that you’ve achieved, enduring 12 years of school. Take it all in. Don’t miss a moment. For some of us, this may be the only time we walk across a stage and graduate. For others, this is the first of many.

So congratulations graduates, I honor you all. I wish you the best in your future endeavors. And remember: we all have the ability to make a difference. Be significant in the lives of others. Don’t live in the past, don’t always look to the future, just enjoy the present. Live each day as if it is your last.

Luke Majerle is one of the top honor students at Little Falls Community High School for the Class of 2013. This is the speech he delivered during commencement exercises held May 26.