High school graduation is a time of paradox.

Like the proverbial blind men feeling the elephant, each participant realizes only a part of the whole.

Seniors look forward to graduation. There are dances and parties. Most of the grads will be showered with gifts and money.

But for many, under the gaiety lies fear. The happy days of warm companionship and being the top dog in high school are forever gone.

Legally expelled from high school with a handshake and a scrap of paper, grads have been shoved into the future which, for some, arrived with terrifying swiftness.

In hot, packed auditoriums or gymnasiums, a speaker may drone on of the graduates’ new beginnings, a new dawn of dreams.

Most of the speakers in their heart of hearts are probably glad they’re not coming into the confusing world these graduates face.

As they did for years beforehand in the classroom, the students awake when the speaker finally finishes.

The dreams of college-bound graduates remain on hold, awaiting a college degree and a good job. Those not going on to college seek full-time work and get on with their lives.

Some graduates will find the world beyond high school and college a hostile environment for their dreams. Some will wind up working at jobs they don’t enjoy, making production in some form, simply because they need the money.

Teachers see graduation day from a different perspective. They’re glad some rascal has gone on to become someone else’s problem.

Statistics say that graduates this year will be bigger, faster, and smarter than ever before. That’s not so much a tribute to them as it is the natural evolution of the species.

They’ll need all of these traits. Graduates in Chickasaw County and the rest of America will face their full and complete share of obstacles on the way to, hopefully, making the world a better place for having passed this way.

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