I realized with trepidation
that you fast growing up.
Soon you, and many of your generation
will graduate from childhood
and enter the challenging and complex domain of maturity -
although I sometimes think you have done so already.

At the start of this new phase, here are a few thoughts:
We have the duty to contribute to a more just, humane and caring society,
do your best to play your part.
All men (and women) are born equal!
Stand up for what you believe in,
stand up for others, and stand up for yourself,
You have the absolute right to be here!
Be a blessing wherever you go
and leave a lasting impression of respect, humility, love, hope and joy.
If one manages to do this with physical beauty
you attract cheap and fleeting glory for yourself.
If you impress with your material possessions
you attribute honor to decaying vanity.
If however you rely on qualities such as honesty
and respect, glory and honor are due to your Maker.
After meeting others
you must leave them more empowered,
more respected and more loved,
even though you yourself might feel hurt,
wounded and down-trodden.
Serve humanity and choose a life that matters.
Not so much for its duration but for its dedication, not because of what you have achieved
but for what you have managed to give.