Graduation 2013 : Charge delivered by Ruth Philippa Lee

Charge to the graduating class of 2013 of The Bishop’s High School, Georgetown Guyana at the commencement exercises held on Friday 13th September, 2013 in the Oswald Parry Hall.

Good afternoon to you all and thank you for gracing this auspicious occasion with your presence. Protocol having been established, I consider this task to be an honorable and a sacred responsibility to deliver the charge to the graduating class of 2013 of the Bishops’ High School, Georgetown, Guyana. 42 years ago I stood where you now stand and I must conclude that the time worn cliché “What goes around comes around” is certainly true by empirical evidence.
Graduating Class, I wish to congratulate you on the completion of another phase of your pursuit of higher learning and to briefly encourage you to move on to the further opportunities for learning, and professional development that await you in the world of work. I must alert you that you stand at a bend in the road and not at the end of the road. Based on the choices you make at this juncture and how you apply wisdom in coming up with decisions, these will have a significant influence on the future direction of your life.
I therefore encourage you young achievers to follow the divine admonition found in Ecclesiastes 12:1 which states ‘Don't let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, "Life is not pleasant anymore." (NLT). You have been blessed with remarkable memories and sharp minds. Your passion for reading and learning is exemplary and the creative use of imagination is wonderful. I urge you to continue to use these gifts to glorify your Creator who lovingly blessed you with them in the first place. With that being said:

I now charge you graduating class of 2013 of the Bishops’ High School to:

  1. Never allow yourself to think you have arrived—keep pressing on.
  2. Avoid comparing your journey with fellow travelers on life’s road. Focus your attention on the One who is your creative source of life and ‘excel still more’
  3. Continue to grow in humility, gentleness and grace as you simultaneously grow in knowledge and understanding.
  4. Seek wise counsel from persons whose standard is excellence—in thought, in speech, in general deportment, and most of all in character which adheres to integrity, transparency and ethical behavior in all situations; but only after you have sought divine wisdom and direction.
  5. Constantly remind yourself that with great privileges come great responsibilities; It is always more blessed to give than to receive—as was echoed in the famous words of John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address to America on the 20th January, 1961—“Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country”. Guyana needs a rebirth—are you the long awaited Messiahs we are looking for to herald this transformation?
  6. Stand on the shoulders of the giants recorded in the institutional history of The Bishops’ High school and by so doing, incrementally strengthen that foundation for future giants to stand on.
  7. Keep the flag of your Alma Mater flying high as a beacon and reference point for those who continue to search for ‘a more excellent way’ despite the mayhem, and bacchanal that is being offered as the lynchpins of a ‘normal society’.
  8. Paint yourself in the big picture of your success and self-belief. You were put on this earth to make a value added difference. Accept nothing less. The sooner you start, the sooner you will succeed.
  9. And finally, I would like to borrow the phrase made popular by Barack Hussein Obama, 2nd term and 44th President of the Unites States of America, when taking the first oath of Office in 2008: “Don’t just follow your dreams, Chase them!”
  10. Go into your new season of life seeing every challenge as a stepping stone and being determined to conquer and not to be conquered by the vicissitudes of life.

Presented by:
Ruth Lee, MBA
Consultant – Human and Social Development,
Master Trainer/ Facilitator
BHS Alumna, Class of ‘65

Friday 13th September, 2013