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星河滚烫,岁月有幸,献给我们的毕业季

发布时间:2020-08-21 16:19

星河滚烫,岁月有幸,献给我们的毕业季


I had no idea then how true that was going to be or that it would be our last face to face interaction. Let me begin by offering my apologies for being unable to see you off in person. Instead, I’ve recorded this video from the safety and comfort of my NJ residence to offer you my congratulations on this rite of passage and to share a little advice for you as you enter the next phase of your lives.


Graduation is inherently a moment of intense and mixed feelings. There is the joy of finally being free, from homework, from test prep, from teachers, from parents. There is the excitement of beginning a new life in a new place and the universe of new possibilities you now have access to. But then there’s also the sadness that comes from the realization that in order for there to be a new beginning, some things must come to an end. And of course, as always, there is a degree of fear of that new beginning, of the unknown and unfamiliar which we as human beings naturally distrust.


As you say your goodbyes and begin to part ways with your teachers, your friends, and your families it’s natural to have all of these thoughts race through your head. Seek comfort in the fact that although moving on to college will reduce the frequency of your interactions with these people, it does not have to be the end of your relationships. I encourage you all to try to keep contact with the people that have mattered most to you these past few years in whatever ways you can. Good relationships take a long time to form and require work to maintain, so value the ones that you have.


I have no doubts you’ll all smoothly make it through the transition from high school to college life. So, let me now focus on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


You are entering your adulthood amid turbulent times. Nationalism, racism, xenophobia, disinformation campaigns, economic inequality, authoritarianism are some of tremendous forces destabilizing our scientifically advanced and interconnected world, causing minds to shrink and societies to drift further and further apart. You are preparing to venture out into the world at a time when a global health emergency has sparked a worldwide economic recession. As a bitter war of words is underway between world leaders. All of it taking place in the shadow of the far larger and ever deadlier problem of global climate change.


Times are scary, our problems are real and many, and yet because of people like you and me, there’s still plenty of hope for a better tomorrow. Now more than ever you should remember and become avid proselytizers of Sendelta’s core motto, Better Self, Better World. The solution to all of the world’s problems begins with each individual recognizing their value and their influence on the world around them. While you may not think you can help shape the world around you, I can assure you that you have the ability to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous world.


You can start with a very simple act as soon as you arrive on your college campus, make lots of friends.


Why does this matter?


Well, on a practical and selfish level I can tell you now that the relationships you make in college will be far more valuable for your future career success than anything you will learn in class. The more relationships you make and the deeper the bonds, the more successful you will be in life.


On a more humanitarian level, it’s people like me and you who shuttle back and forth between nations, who know and understand the people from different societies that serve as the antidote to the poisonous forces I mentioned earlier.


We act as the bonds holding different societies together resisting the forces trying to tear them apart. We are ambassadors of our peoples helping to share our histories, traditions, and beliefs with our friends abroad while helping to explain the outside world to those at home unable to experience it for themselves.


By forming relationships, you are learning that the people on the other side of the world are fundamentally not that different from those back home, and you are helping those people abroad to realize the same thing.


Ignorance and misunderstanding fuel the fires of violence and anger that you see raging around the world. Now is your chance to help extinguish them.


Doing so will be easier said than done though. The reality is making foreign friends can be challenging.


In your first months living abroad you will experience culture shock, a combination of intense and sometimes irrational hatred of the new environment you live in and a deep longing for what you’ve left behind at home. These feelings will naturally push you to seek comfort in the company of your fellow expatriates and to avoid interactions with the natives. This is going to happen, it’s almost guaranteed. Rather than ask you to try to resist this urge, I would just urge you to try to diversify your social groups. Alternate between hanging out with Chinese friends and foreign friends, and whenever possible act a bridge between these groups.


Celebrate traditional Chinese holidays abroad with your fellow Chinese but try also encouraging your fellow Chinese to participate in local holiday celebrations too. Cook traditional Chinese meals in your dorm when you miss home but also invite your foreign friends to share the meal. Seek opportunities to better understand and appreciate your host country and for ways to help your foreign friends better understand and appreciate China.


I fully expect that you will have many fun and exciting experiences ahead of you. I hope these experiences are boundless in the joy and enlightenment they bring.


Before saying farewell, I will broach one last topic because although it may be hard to hear you are now adults going out into the world on your own so you must hear it. Along the way, you will also face hardships. No matter where it is you go, you will eventually meet some of the dregs of society. They will call you names, insult you and your homeland, they will try to make you feel like an isolated other and blame you for their problems. When you fall into these situations remain calm and confident knowing these two things. One, for every idiot you meet there are ten more good people worthy of your trust and friendship. Rather than waste your time reacting to the bad people you meet, focus on maximizing your time with the good. Two, words can sometimes hurt but the truth is they have only the power we choose to give them. If you are confident in who you are, where you come from, and where you’re going there’s nothing anyone can say that can hurt you.


March out into the world with the confidence and determination to face and overcome whatever obstacles come your way because life does not get easier, so we must become stronger.


Members of the Class of 2020, congratulations on your graduation. No matter the college or the major you now pursue, I wish each of you nothing less the greatest success in your future.


祝你心想事成!





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