Lucy McHugh to the Class of 2013: Relax, Discern, and Love . . .

June 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Over the next few days, The Ignatian Educator will be posting reflections from a few Ignatian educators around the country. The prompt given to them was this: What would you say to the class of 2013? In approximately 250 words, give a mini commencement address.

Today’s contribution comes from Lucy McHugh of Xavier College Preparatory in Palm Desert, CA.

Relax, Discern, and Love

By Lucy McHugh

June 6, 2013

I remember my graduation from high school 40 years ago. The air was filled with promise. We were goofy in our joy, blasted air horns, and barely listened to speeches diligently prepared on our behalf. Our minds were already at the parties and on the Florida beaches.

If I could have heard words of wisdom, like the me now talking to the me then, perhaps I might have been able to glean something along these lines:

Relax. There will be stress, fear, and even a bit of mayhem. Some of it will be caused by others or events out of your control; some of it will be caused by you. Square your shoulders, weather the storm, breathe deep and exhale. Learn to reframe. Things that go haywire don’t have to stay that way. Learn how to be calm and carry on—not a bad slogan! Remember to teach this life skill to others. Pass it on.

Discern. You are going to be making real decisions about real things that really matter. You will discover your core values. These will be non-negotiable. As you make moral decisions aligned with your inner compass, you will know what it means to be courageous.  What a blessing this will be for you! Remember to teach this life skill to others. Pass it on.

Care. Love—hard and deeply. Experience laughter: you know, belly laughs, and remember to hug. Cry—also hard and deeply. Live the pain—that means something mattered. There is no shame in honest tears. Enjoy the small things. Continue to wonder about the stars and celebrate every chance you get. Remember to teach these life skills to others. Pass it on.

God bless you and keep you; may God make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May He look on you with favor and grant you peace.

McHugh, Lucy

 

Lucy McHugh has taught for over 30 years in public and private education. Currently, she is the chair of the fine arts department at Xavier College Preparatory in Palm Desert, CA. She can be reached at lmchugh@xavierprep.org.

 

For prior entries in The Ignatian Educator commencement series, click here.

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