Senior Recognition Ceremony Speech
"Today I say we must move forwards, not backwards, upwards, not forwards and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!"- The space alien, which inhabited Bill Clinton on the Simpsons.
While this quote might have you puzzled, I figured that it would at least grab some attention. Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, was definitely right, though his logic was twisted; in that life will always be one continuous motion towards infinite future. The past is left behind and the only thing that will impact the rest of life will inevitably be the future. At first when asked to be a part of the senior recognition ceremony I thought to myself, what could I possibly say about Towson Unitarian Universalist Church? I, myself, have only been a member for about a year and do not really have as many memories of activities as the others speaking today. But the more I thought about it the more that I realized that I was wrong. Being a part of this church for a year has had such a great impact on me, itís such a welcoming organization that doesnít seem to care where you came from or what your economic background is. You have opened your doors to a lost seventeen-year-old child and helped her to understand where she belongs and helped her to realize that every person has their own inherent worth. At TUUC I first learned that it is okay to have individual ideas that you can express and that while everyone might not think alike, we are all still capable of one thing, love. This environment has impacted my past life and will most likely impact my future. No matter where I go now, I carry that little card, the little brown one that you can get in the lobby that contains the principles, as a little reminder that I am a proud Unitarian and that I belong somewhere in this world. I know that although all of us graduating seniors are going off to different colleges, we will always remember the times that we had here. Those memories being so positive, I am sure that eventually we will all be lead back at one time or another to this church, whether itís with our own children or just later in life. I know that next year, while I am away at University of Delaware, I will feel right at home. I already picked out a Unitarian Church nearby the school, so that I will always be a part of such a loving community. With the rest of the seniors, I am sure that they will strive to take Unitarianism and apply it into their own lives as well. By this age and time, if you do not want to come to church, itís not enforced upon you. Your parents try to lead you on this religious path when your young, but by this age itís your own choice if you decide to stay on the path given to you. Unitarianism has taught so many things to us as a collective group of seniors. Such values as understanding, hope, and helping those in need have combined with the quest for knowledge to lead us to answer our own questions involving religion and the way that we choose to adapt it into our lives. Some people mock Unitarianism for being such an open religion, but I think itís this open connection that causes so many people to join. In no other religion do they pursue the teachings of all religions nor do they encourage you to choose how you want to view God. We, as TUUC seniors, were never ridiculed for what we chose to accept as it applied to politics, religion, or everyday life, but encouraged to live, as we desire as long as there was no destruction to others. Whenever there was a question or problem that we needed guidance with we always received answers that showed love and thoughtful consideration. From TUUC, we seniors will most likely be taking this open approach and applying it to our lives, whether itís just being able to accept those that are different than our own personal beliefs or whether itís choosing a lifestyle that revolves around questioning common beliefs. To focus on the future one must always remember the past and heed those lessons they learned. No longer is it who controls the past that will control the future, but instead it will be us controlling our own destiny. We leave TUUC with the hope to make a difference in fighting injustices no matter how large or small and with an open mind. We are no longer afraid to be who we are, but instead we know we will always belong.
ďWork like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching. Sing like nobody's listening. Live like it's Heaven on Earth.Ē-Mark Twain