I was a recent keynote speaker at an Adult Literacy program’s graduation in which adults received GED diplomas. Individuals were also being recognized for their continuation in ESL and GED studies, and a few students for securing U.S. citizenship. In my speech, I told the audience to savor the moment.
When you have taken a journey that is wrought with challenges and laden with obstacles, as many of the men and women in this program faced, it is important to take breaths along the way to savor what has been accomplished. You will be amazed when you look back on such a journey and note what you were able to overcome.
Savor the moment and give yourself credit – even if there is further to go in the process. Show gratitude for all the pieces that fell into place and take time to acknowledge yourself for all of this.
In my speech, I told the group that as adults, they are setting the tone for their children and grandchildren and need to teach the children to savor moments of accomplishment. The example I gave was what I did with my son for the last day of school every year during elementary school and middle school: I took a half-day off from work and would pick him up from school in the late morning. We would go to a restaurant for lunch and at the end of the meal, I gave him a card to congratulate him for a job well-done. I asked him to read the card out loud and I would tell him how proud I was of the work he did all year. Then I gave him a wrapped present to open and we would sit, talk, and enjoy each other’s company for some time longer.
We must teach our young to savor the moment of achievement (regardless of the kind of year he or she had). The end of the year is here and you did the best that you could do: “Let’s celebrate where you are at this juncture in your life”, is what you want to communicate.
Here are questions which parents and child can discuss at such an end of year acknowledgment activity:
- What did you learn about yourself this year?
- What were the most difficult times in the year? Why?
- What would you do differently going forward?
- What were your achievements? Of what are you most proud?
Remember, celebrate and savor the milestone. Live an exquisite life.