Graduates: We Wish You a Great Life!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
June 18, 2009

There was a time in my life, back when time crawled, that I thought I would be never be ten. I remember thinking about the older kids, "They must have been born ten!" Then I reached ten. And the decennial markers of life started clicking by, 20, 30, 40, 50 and now 60! Wow!

For those of you graduating from high school, you probably thought as did I that as a freshman, you would never be a senior. And now you not only reached your senior year, you are a graduate! Congratulations! The same experience, only a more familiar one, is college. The point I am making is that time does fly and perhaps especially when you are having fun, and I have been having fun in my work of inspiration: public service as an elected official.

So this brings us to the two things to watch for as you move through life: time and your calling. Life is short, so we should all attempt to make it count. There will always be opportunities to digress into tension relieving versus goal achieving. With a clearly set forth list of goals, you should find that you are avoiding too much "tension relieving" and progressing the way you should.

With a clear appreciation for the value of time, find or focus on what really makes your heart sing! If you are fortunate enough to be doing something that really makes you happy, you will find that you are less tired because you are inspired. Fundamentally, I just wanted to leave the world better off than it was when I was born into it and while in elected office cement the bond of credibility between the governing and the governed.

Participate in some great campaign to make our country better. You might find a way to accelerate our shift to sustainability from an energy perspective and help make our country a net exporter of energy once again. You might find a way to crank our way from 17% incidence of diabetes to the national incidence of 7%! You might find a way to steer the talents and energy of those caught up in a life of repeated incarceration into a life of meaningfulness. You might work on ways to better plan our community and to implement mass transportation so that endless traffic congestion is not our future in this growing and urban county. And you might find ways to recover and not waste our resources through serious recycling in your daily life or in your life's work.

You choose the pathway. Know that you can change this world for the better. And in the final analysis, know that in its largest possible context, the ancient Chinese proverb is true: "The fragrance of the flowers remains upon the hands of those who give them." Have a great life!

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