Jordan Green shares his graduation speech

by Jordan Green

Well, Friends, my high school education has come to an end. On Sunday, I walked across the stage as one of the valedictorians of Blackwell High School. As such, I was honored to give a short speech. This week, I would like to share that speech with those of you who were unable to attend the ceremony. Here it is as follows:

I could start this speech off by thanking you all for being here, but at the moment, my mind is a little preoccupied with this question: what's next?

High school graduation is different for each of us. For some, it may be the greatest milestone we ever achieve. For others, it is only the first step in a long journey. Still, all of us take away one thing from today's ceremony: we must always pursue our dreams.

Growing up, it was common for each of us to be asked: “So, what do you want to be when you are an adult?” The answer to that question has changed numerous times. Even after today, it will continue to change until, one day, we finally settle down and decide what to do with the rest of our lives. While we may not yet have a final decision, all of us undoubtedly have a next step. Some of us are destined for the workforce in a matter of days; some will trek off to college in the fall; and some will soon serve our country in the armed forces. Thanks to our time in high school, we have been prepared for this next step.

I know what you are probably thinking: “Yes, another cliché follow-your-dreams talk.” Hold on for just a moment.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Everyone has dreams; they are an innate part of our human nature. The question is: do we have the willpower to execute them?

Making our dreams come true is not going to be easy. If dreams were easily attained, would not they just be realities?

The thing about a dream that makes it so powerful – that makes it so much fun to have – is the risk associated with it. Yes, there is a lot of risk in opening up your own business, performing your first operation as a medical professional, writing your first story as a reporter, or rebuilding your first engine as a mechanic. It may not go the way you want it to, and if it does not, there is a possibility that bad things could happen. You could lose that business; that patient could die; that story could ruin your reputation; that engine could explode.

So, what do we do? Do we pull back and say, “No, better leave that to someone else?” Or do we say, “Well, I have insurance?”

You can choose either one. But no one will choose it for you. And here's the kicker: there is a wrong choice.

Each of us has a dream, and we must work to make it come to life. Whether or not you are a person of faith, it is indisputable that each of us has a purpose in life. Each person on this stage today is a piece in a much larger puzzle, a stone in a much longer road, a brick in a much taller building, and a breath in a much longer life. A chain may only be as strong as its weakest link, but remember this: without even the weakest link, there is no chain.

In our lives, we will all work together. We have to. But we can only do that if we have the ambition to make our lives something more. That starts with believing that you can make your dreams come true. Even if you fail a million times over at pursuing one dream, and even if your dream changes, always keep a dream, and always fight for it.

In our lives, we will fail. In our lives, we will stumble. In our lives, we will fall. But as long as we have a dream, we will get back up. We will walk again. We will rise.

The color of our skin does not matter. The anatomy of our bodies is irrelevant. Our upbringings are not pertinent. Today, we celebrate our life's achievements thus far. Tomorrow, we will put those achievements into practice, no matter who we are. The world does not care about what adjectives we are described by; the world cares about what goals we aim to reach.

Each of us must always have a dream in life, and we must always believe in that dream – if not for ourselves, for the rest of the world.

We are all in the game of life together. If want to win, we must never stop seeing the beauty of our dreams.