Today we graduate into a new world

I'm not sure if any of us have quite realized this, but today we graduate. Today we stroll into a world we know relatively nothing about.

For 13 years, we have been standing on the ledge peering over the guardrail at this mysterious thing called "our future." From where we stand, it's comparable to the Grand Canyon, stretching farther than the eye can see or the mind can comprehend. Our parents and teachers have tried to get us to see what lies within, but it is impossible. We can't feel the textures of the rocks they describe. We can listen to them, study all the pictures and paintings, but it won't become real to us until we can explore it for ourselves.

And today, we will be granted full access to finally enter it.

But what are we supposed to do with this immense unknown abyss?

I'm just as sure as every one of you clueless. So why don't we look to somewhere we are all very familiar with. Somewhere we have spent 18 years mapping out. Let's go back to our childhood.

Remember back to the days of tromping around butt-naked. No matter where you were, all you wanted to do was take off your clothes and run free. Some of us still find this necessary to do; only now it is a little less innocent. It probably comes in the form of party boy-ing unsuspecting cars, co-ed skinny-dipping, or the infamous nude leap from Jordan Bridge. They used to think we were cute as could be, but now we get charged with silly things like Indecent Exposure.

Why can we no longer be those adorable carefree kids?

Well, the getting older part is inevitable. But maybe if we rekindle some of our child-like antics, we can greet this unfamiliar world with the same courageousness we had back then.

In our Bare Stages we had to investigate our surroundings with as few confines as possible. Our skin to the world and no clothes to interfere. We were smart enough then to know rain is better on bare skin than it is on a jacket.

We didn't just poke at things to get to know them. We approached everything with a savage curiosity. It wasn't fulfilling enough to just squish one hand in the mud, we had to cover our bodies head to toe in it to realize how gooey, messy and beautiful it actually was.

Whatever it was we did to discover our new world, it made us happy. If we were stripped of clothing, it was because we wanted to be. Because it pleased us. We weren't concerned, or even aware, that others might care what we were doing. This was us at our most pure state.

We've done this exploration of a strange world thing once already. As we begin our journey into this abyss we are on the brink of, maybe all we need to do is recall how it was done when we were young. Say good bye to your inhibitions. Be curious and be brave. Take the time to really discover things. We are all going to do something different with this rapidly approaching future. Do like you did as a kid, and uncover it in the way that works for you.

Our years of preparation have officially come to an end. Next time we wake up, we will be inside this Grand Canyon of a future. But maybe exploring it won't be so scary after all. I mean, if we did it 18 years ago, we can certainly do it now.

Congratulations class of 2008, we really are graduating.

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