My thanks go to the Management, Staff and Students of all great colleges. Thank you, teachers, for having empowered another set of future leaders that we are sending forth as change agents into the world today. Many kudos to us, the parents of the graduates and other parents here present. We are all labourers in the vineyard of parenting.
In my words of exhortation to our young people today I say:-
DISCOVER YOURSELF EARLY – Ask the questions: Who am I? What is my desired destination? What will I stand for? Develop your sense of destination and move continuously towards it. Plan to be successful. As the saying goes “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Again I say to you; begin this next phase of your life with the end in mind. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Begin to plan for your future.
EMBRACE THE SKILLS FOR LIFE – Life is not a bed of roses, the saying goes. There are natural laws that govern all of life. Do not break them. Life is not Father Christmas as you cannot demand from life what you don’t deserve. Some of the skills you need as compass include integrity, courage, humility, hard work, passion, gratefulness, cheerfulness, discipline, health and vitality, people skills, honesty and vision, etc. Research shows that it is these attributes that give successful children the drive to succeed. Make careful choices/decisions as life doesn’t just happen, you work towards it.
LEARNING DOES NOT END – The truth of the matter is that learning does not end. Readers are Leaders and Leaders are Learners. Seek information, seek to improve yourself. Whatever you know or learn, nobody can take it away from you. Acquire new skills; be inspired to reach for the stars. Technology is great but you must balance out. In this day and age of video games, earphones, and BlackBerry, I say to you be wise. Do not spend too much of your valuable time on facebook rather Face Your Book. Be knowledgeable. It adds to making you smarter, standing taller, straight and unwavering. Listen to the news, ask questions, know your environment and keep your environment. History is important, Learn history. Do not despise your heritage or your mother tongue (native language). Explore other cultures and points of view. Learn about money matters and time management. Be patriotic. Nigeria is your country. It needs you to be great again. Be a blessing to her and not a burden. Learn, learn and learn.
BE POSITIVE MINDED: The book of proverbs says “As a man thinketh so is he.” Watch your thoughts. Do not let situation weigh you down. Focus on the solution not the problems. Persevere and not be distracted. When life throws you lemon makes lemonade out of it. As leaders of tomorrow, you must act and think differently in a more positive way. Be imaginative, be innovative and be creative.
BE HEALTHY BOTH BODY AND MIND: Take care of your body and your appearance. Fashion is good but make informed choices. Sagging, for example, is a strange fashion. History has it that it is from the inmates in prisons in America. They were not allowed to wear belts to hold their trousers so that it does not become a tool of assault when they are aggressive or trying to escape but it became more pronounced among the gay inmates to show that they were available. Make wise choice. Cherish and always remember your family. Eat good foods. Feed your body with nutrients that it needs. Lay a good foundation for the future. Go for a lot of fruits and vegetables. Move your body. Do some form of exercise or sport. Stay out of drugs, alcohol, cultism, etc. We all pay a price if we do not care for our bodies. Avoid temptations. All actions have its consequences.
Let us change the world and to do this you need to think outside the box. Dream Big. It has been said that there are two kinds of people in life. Those who make things happen and those who wondered what happened. Our prayers for you this day is that you all indeed will make things happen; that you will make Nigeria happen. Be responsible. You will have to guard your mind. Exercise self-discipline. It is indeed a battlefield; you will have to say no to certain things. Be strong and of good courage. Go for excellence as there are no prizes for average performance. What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. FEAR GOD. PRAY TO HIM.
In closing, I say may your future, with God on your side, be bright and beautiful. Not just bright but illuminatingly bright. We hope to hear or read about you as a notable personality in the society. On behalf of all the mummies and daddies in the house, I say God be with you till we meet again, you are freed to go and excel in changing the world and solving its problems. Au reviour, Daalu, O digba, Se gobe etc.
We trust that you will win in the game of life. We trust that you will not fail.
Thank you for listening and God bless.