Graduation Season

I had a wonderful experience recently attending my son’s graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was inspiring to be in Kenan Stadium celebrating his accomplishment and that of 5,000 other students, including undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree recipients. Graduation pomp and ceremony are inspiring, mixed with the contagious joy that the students and families share in community with one another.

The keynote had an uplifting message. It was presented by Frank Bruni, an American journalist and long-time writer for The New York Times. His timeless message offered a mindful lesson that exemplifies the theme found in this newsletter: that a mindful choice can help us get the most out of our education, vocation, career and life. Having a sense of satisfaction and happiness makes us the best version of ourselves.

“You have many important choices ahead of you … but none of those choices will have as much bearing on your decency as a human being and your happiness — your fundamental, enduring happiness — as a choice that you will make monthly, daily or even hourly,” said Bruni. “And that’s whether you’re going to be somebody who counts her blessings or somebody who tallies her slights.”

Everyone we come across in life has their own challenges, disappointments and concerns. Those factor into how we arrive at where we are. Showing vulnerability with one another and compassion toward the notion of a shared awareness can help us to find acceptance. In turn, a compassionate and accepting mind allows us to learn, grow and, most importantly, appreciate the great memories we are making every day of our lives.

“Some of those dreams will come true; others will not,” Bruni said. “That ratio will not determine the buoyancy of your heart, or your peace of mind, because those aren’t ruled by any arithmetic. They’re governed by attitude, by whether you fully cherish the highs and find grace in the face of the lows.”

Enjoy the season of graduations, weddings, vacations and reunions, and relish the sweet memories!

Note: This article appeared in our Q2 2022 newsletter, go here to read it in its entirety:

Rick Manske, CFP®, CFA™
Chief Executive Officer


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