The next stage in life

When we say graduation, we think formal education. Although that belief is flawed, part of it rings true: graduation is education. To that, I’d add, graduation is evolution through education.

Let’s break that down.

When we graduate from high school or college, we move from one stage of our life to another, better one. And we expect this new age in our life to offer a richer, and a more complete lifestyle. Because graduation is a promise that the future is open and it’s upon us to forge it as we wish.

The same is true of the mind. Regardless of our physical age, our mind undergoes multiple trajectories in its pursuit of growth. While some adults behave childish and amateurish, some youngsters embrace a far more responsible stance. The reason is that their minds have graduated—they’ve learnt from their experiences in life, assumed strong opinions, and have incorporated their learnings in their everyday activities.

That’s the meaning of true graduation—internalising the lessons from every good and bad incident and using that knowledge for our own and others’ improvement.

However, it’s near impossible to walk towards graduation alone. Whether formal education or the mind, taking the next step requires help at every step. Teachers, well-wishers, friends, and kin all play vital roles in the graduation of a person’s mind. Random conversations, everyday incidents, and the occasional family gathering are breeding grounds for support and encouragement.

As for teachers, throughout their careers they guide students from nothingness to proper adults, sprinkling thought beads all the time. I’ve had a few teachers like that. I didn’t know it then, but years later now, I realise I’d be nowhere if it hadn’t been for them. How I think and approach a situation, and how I handle pleasantness and unpleasantness depend on my teachers and the way they handled their problems. If teachers are the path, parents are the carpet that paves the way for graduation of the mind.

As humans, we observe people who influence us. We derive ideas from them and they drive us to think further and aim beyond boundaries. That’s the progression we should strive for—becoming the better version of who we are.

And that’s worth more than a piece of rolled up paper.

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