Today is the day – the day we let you go; let you fly and soar high up in the sky. We know you are still a little bird right now, and we hope that you grow into an eagle with a wide span of wings flying way high in the sky.
During this next phase of your life, you will prepare yourself for serving the world and making it better. During this phase, you will emerge as a butterfly from a caterpillar. You are starting a long journey of over 10 years to become a surgeon.
That journey starts with one single step that you are taking today by stepping on this college campus.
And remember that no matter the phase of life you are in, you have our unconditional support. There will be times, especially during this phase of grooming, when you will make mistakes. You’ll make wrong decision and will have poor judgement. You will fall on your path, many times. These all will be learning opportunities for you. I do not expect you to be perfect and make no mistake. Every mistake you make, will teach you something that will avoid a bigger mistake in the future. Just know that we will support you, no matter what.
I have always told you that our hearts are connected.
So, I will feel the pain when you are hurting.
By reaching out to me, you will help me deal with my pain. First thoughts should not be to evaluate your actions but to get the help you will need. Reach out to others also. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a required trait for living in a social structure. Help will make you do your best and give back to the world. I feel like I’m leaving a part of heart here as I leave you here today.
If I could give you few pieces of advice, biggest one will be to be the life-long learner. Learn how to learn. Learn not only from your professors and peers but from everyone you meet. Every interaction is an opportunity to grow – whether it’s talking to the driver of your university shuttle or striking a conversation with the clerk at the checkout counter at grocery store. Know their story. Everyone has something to teach you.
Secondly, be nice to everyone. You will never know how much anyone is struggling and your few minutes interaction can make their day. If you make one person happier, they will make few more people happier, and happiness will spread. Being nice is contagious, so spread your positive energy.
Finally, be humble. Ego is the enemy of learning and happiness. If you think you are smarter than others, you will not learn. You will also be competing with others on superficial things that don’t matter and will not be as happy as you could be. The more you give, more you get. Your university president set a great example by actually moving your stuff from your car to your dorm. That’s being humble!
Use every opportunity to help others. Believe me.
Self-fulfillment is the best form of happiness.
That’s how you pay your societal debt. That’s how you better the world. And that is how you make the whole world cry when you leave this world.
These are probably too heavy for you to grasp right now but you will learn, and I will always be there on your side.