Please allow me to extend a warm Thank you to family, friends and faculty who have come here tonight to celebrate the Graduating Class of 2010.
It has been quite a journey that has spanned almost ¾’s of a year. A year of juggling family’s schedules, kid’s soccer games, finances, missed dinners, long days at work or school followed by longer nights at work or school. And everyone that is here that has felt the brunt of this journey, again I say ‘Thank You.”
When I found out I was named Salutatorian, I was honored. And when I was told I was required to make a speech, well…
I thought to myself, now that’s not going to be easy. I mean you all know I am certainly not one to stand at the center of attention and speak my mind… Ahem, But since I must….
Dr. Drew explained to me that a Salutatorian’s speech is meant to Welcome Everyone to the new life for which they have spent these long months preparing. It is my honor to do so right now. Feel free to give yourselves a round of applause. And let me say, Welcome Therapists! Welcome to the first day of the rest of your new life!
Tonight I would like to speak out on what I feel is the most valuable element that will become the foundation for success within this new life, and that element is PERSEVERANCE.
The great Madame Curie once said,
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”
So, our “Thing” is massage therapy.
But I don’t like the word “Thing”, I prefer the term “Super Power.”
For example, think of John Smith sitting at his computer suffering from headaches and sharp pains in his shoulders. He makes an appointment to go to the doctor where he is shuffled about before obtaining his prescription. Then he must fill out the prescription (hopefully not at Wal-Mart or this speech may never end), at last he takes the prescribed pain pill, and once again, he must wait…. wait for the pain to go away. Whereas you or I can place our hands where the pain begins, and faster than a flexoril the pain subsides.
And what about Sally Brown, the typical single mother struggling to make ends meet, feeling frustrated and weary. Within the hour, we can ease that stress with smooth therapeutic strokes until she begins to feel lighter, less burdened, and centered. I think that is an amazing power, a power that each and every one of us now possess, a power that requires knowledge and skill, and luckily for us, we were able to learn and hone our skills at one of the top schools in Texas… Parker. Let’s hear it for Parker!
So, we have a Super Power. Now what?
Now we must use this power. We must persevere in our quest for clients, job opportunities and furthering our education in a specific field. Do not procrastinate. Do not let this power sit dusty upon a shelf only to be taken down between shifts of other jobs. We have been struggling for 8 long months. What are a few months more? Do not fall back on the easier means. We are no longer a cog in the corporate wheel. No more cubicles and fluorescent lighting for us. No more long shifts filled with “What can I get ya?” and 10% tips.
So tonight I ask that you take this excited energy and enthusiasm and channel it as the fuel to your own perseverance. Network, stay in touch with each other, pass along opportunities that for you may not work, but for a fellow classmate could be the job of a lifetime. Create a social circle and stay current within it.
I learned perseverance from my Grandfather. He started as a shoe salesman at JC Penney. He retired as a Vice President; I wish he could be here. But I know he would agree with me when I say:
Submerge yourself within this new life and it will blossom before you.
I will leave you with a final quote from our former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, that reads,
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. “
Thank you everyone,