This week we welcome guest columnist Kristi Wilkerson, elected member of Upshur County Board of Education.
One of the greatest privileges of serving as a member of the Upshur County Schools Board of Education is the giving of diplomas at B-UHS graduation each year. I also had the pleasure of attending my child’s 8th grade ceremony at B-UMS recently. At both celebrations, the students were excited for the celebration. Their eyes were sparkling with accomplishment. However, some also seemed a touch apprehensive as they realized they do not know what the future holds.
A couple of days ago, I had a thought-provoking conversation with a friend who is at a crossroads, making a decision that will lead to the next steps on his personal journey. Like our recent graduates, he is enthusiastically anticipating his future, but he also recognizes there are big decisions to be made that will impact him for the rest of his life.
After visiting with my friend, I recognized my most recent “lesson learned.” That lesson is all about discovering joy. You see, life is way too short to (figuratively) walk down a path that has no joy and no happiness. I often hear many people say “I should…” or “I’m supposed to…” but those phrases come without any gladness and sometimes even with sadness.
As we celebrate the Class of 2021, and as others make life-changing decisions, let’s encourage them all to seek out whatever makes their hearts dance. Let’s provide support and nudge them to discover and firmly hold on to their life’s true calling where they will find fulfillment.
This “lesson learned” also reminds me that we all need a village of friends and family that will cheer us on throughout our journeys. That village should also be part of our joy and happiness. So, please, take a moment and encourage someone in your life to move toward inner gratification, no matter if it is a tiny step or a giant leap. They deserve to be surrounded by nothing less than pure joy and happiness.
I hope and pray that you, too, are surrounded by life’s greatest blessings, as well.
Kristi Wilkerson, BOE member.