Not Ready · 10 June 2012

I should be finishing my speech instead of writing my blog.

I am supposed to give an important speech in a little more than twenty-four hours. It is a keynote address at our school’s baccalaureate tomorrow and I am still not sure what I am going to say.

I really ought to be ready to say something to our graduates. After all, I have known about this speech for some time. Last spring, I was chatting about the baccalaureate with Leanne, one of the parents who helps put together the event. I mentioned that many years ago a student had asked me if I would like to speak at the baccalaureate. At the time, I had no idea what one was, so I declined. I did not realize that it was a time of reflection about high school life with a more spiritual bent to it. I told Leanne that I regretted not taking the time to find out what the baccalaureate was before I said no. That was when I realized I made a mistake. Sometimes who you know gets you in trouble. Leanne had me on the list of speakers for this year before we were done talking that day. So I ought to be ready. But I am not.

Part of the reason I am not ready to speak to our graduating seniors is because I am not sure I have anything worthwhile to say. After all, I am MediocreMan – not a superhero with a cool name, but just an average guy trying to do the best I can. What can I say that would mean anything to our graduates? Besides, people do not really care what you say. They really only listen if they know you care or they believe your words match your actions.

That is where I do okay. Whether or not students have had my class or been coached by me, they seem to know I care. And they see that what I say pretty much matches what I do. It is not just the haircut that I recently got when one of my athletes went to state. I have been working to be a man of character and a man of God for a long time. And to some extent I have succeeded. Even so, I do not feel ready.

Still, I believe I will give a decent speech. The words I say might even be coherent and have some meaning. But the main reason people will like what I say is because they know I care.

I tell my students and my athletes that they become my kids when they come through the door or step onto the field. They do not necessarily believe it until they have been around me for a bit, but then they understand that what I say and do is for their benefit. I want them to be the best they can be and I do what I can to help them. Eventually, they figure out that I am somebody who loves and accepts them for who they are. That is why, even though I am worrying over every word of my speech, I am not too worried about the outcome. I will do give my best and let God worry about the results. Like I usually do.

Even after this cathartic blogging session, I am not ready to give my address. In reality, I will never be ready. After all, I can barely believe that I am one of two keynote speakers at the baccalaureate. Nevertheless, I will stand and deliver the best I have and see what happens. It is all I can do.

Still, I probably ought to finish writing my speech.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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