Our Opinion: Students prepare for next steps in life

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2008

High school seniors all over the country are approaching a landmark in their lives &8212; graduation.

Graduation is important not only because it marks the end of high school, but also for what it means for young men and women in the next several years. Those young people are faced with tough choices. Some will be able to go to college. Some may go immediately to work. Some may join the military.

If high school graduation is a landmark, it is one that marks the border territory between childhood and adulthood. The Apostle Paul said that when he became a man, he put away childish things. For graduating seniors, that time of putting away childish things begins after graduation.

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Our young men and women all have examples &8212; some good, some not so good &8212; about how an adult should behave. Parents, teachers, pastors, family and friends all play a part in teaching a young man or woman how to behave as an adult.

Detective novelist Robert B. Parker is fond of quoting Shakespeare&8217;s Hamlet when his protagonists are faced with an uncertain situation: &8220;Readiness is all.&8221;

To our young people: The Bard was right. Readiness is all, and you will learn it as you live your lives and become more autonomous.

We&8217;ll close with one last quote, from F. Scott Fitzgerald&8217;s &8220;The Great Gatsby&8221;: &8220;Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes.&8221; The decision of where to build your character &8212; whether in those marshes or upon solid stone &8212; belongs to you, seniors.

Choose wisely. The path to adulthood begins here.