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Friday, August 12, 2022

If you dwell on the adversity you just might miss the opportunity, Parker advises seniors

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In keeping with a tradition started several years ago, KHS Senior Class officers selected a KISD faculty member to address the class at the 2014 graduation ceremony. Mr. Doug Parker, KHS Theater Director, was selected.
Mr. Parker, retiring this year after 22 years with KISD, {{more}}eleven years at James Arthur Elementary and the last eleven years at Kennedale High School, advised them among other things to choose good mentors, guard your reputation, be a reader, admit when you are wrong and don’t be too proud to apologize.
The full text of his speech follows.
?If you?ve had me for a teacher or if you?ve been in any our HS productions, you know one of the things I always ask the kids is ?Are You Ready to Be Perfect?? Well of course, no one is perfect?but I guess what I mean by that is are you ready to strive for excellence. And that?s the message I?d like to offer today?and maybe some tips on how to be excellent as you leave high school and head into this next exciting phase of your life.
  1. Seek wise counsel always. Most people love to help; it makes them feel good to be valuable and needed. Along that line, find a mentor or mentors ?someone you admire, and emulate them. Talk to them. How did they get where they are? What traits do you like? Then work at developing those. And believe it or not, and you may not realize this or appreciate it now, but your parents are also a good source of information and wisdom. Never be too proud or embarrassed to go to them. They love you and want to help you like no one else.
  2. Don?t give up. Understand that failure and mistakes can make you better and stronger. And don?t necessarily accept the words of others who don?t really know you. Did you know that Thomas Edison was labeled dumb and scatterbrained by his school teachers but went on to become one of the world?s greatest inventors and founded General Electric, one of the most powerful companies in the world? Did you know that Abraham Lincoln, our 14th president, was born into poverty, and faced defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business, and suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times – but he didn’t; and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country. So try to look at an adversity as an opportunity. If you dwell on the adversity, you just might miss the opportunity.
  3. Never be too proud to take the most menial jobs and yes, even for low pay. And no matter what job you do, give it your best. Remember that somebody else could be waiting in the wings to snap that job out from under you. And you never know where it could lead or who may be watching. At the very least it could teach you a good work ethic. Did you know that the founder and CEO of Wendy?s, Dave Thomas, started out as a KFC employee? Or that Carl Lewis, a gold medal winner, worked at McDonald’s when he was 16 and went on to win 10 Olympic medals in track and field, said working at the chain helped teach him discipline, teamwork and the importance of speed. He said “Time is very important … you couldn’t let the fries get cold?If I was 10 seconds off, I’d have no gold medal.”
  4. Remember that your attitude can make the difference in just about anything. Zig Ziglar, the famous motivational speaker said ?It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.? And he also said ?When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you have also chosen, in most cases, how you are going to be treated by others.? Winston Churchill said ?Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ? And Chuck Swindoll, the famous author and pastor said: ?I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.?
  5. Always mean what you say and say what you mean. In other words, be honest, ethical, and trustworthy in all you do. Work at having a good reputation and don?t be a gossip. George Washington, our first president said: associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. And Warren Buffett, the billionaire businessman said, ?It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. As the Bible says in Proverbs your reputation is more important than gold or silver. And it also says: ?Those who guard their tongues keep themselves from calamity?, along with ?A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man [or woman] who talks too much?.
  6. I want to encourage you to be readers. Put down your cell phone and your ipod or ipad and pick up a book! Exercise your brain. I personally don?t do it enough, yet I love the story of Dr. Benjamin Carson, who became the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John?s Hopkins hospital. He lived in poverty in inner-city Detroit, he and his brother were always getting into trouble, and he was called the dumbest kid in his class by his classmates. Finally one day his mother, troubled by all of this, began to make her sons turn off the TV, read books, and do book reports for her. The young Carson grew to love reading, and he ended up graduating from high school with honors and gaining admission to Yale University, going on to medical school, and becoming a brain surgeon. So you see, reading can definitely make a positive difference.
  7. Be responsible for your actions and don?t blame others. Admit it when you?re wrong and don?t be too proud to apologize. Nobody likes a blamer. It takes courage to take responsibility and admit a failure. Don?t be so proud that you can?t admit a mistake.
  8. And a final thing I?ll add is: Don?t be afraid to ask for what you want and to always have an attitude of gratitude. When you appreciate someone or something, tell them; write them a thank you note?not just a text message or an email, but maybe send them a card with a real postage stamp. Give things a personal touch. And don?t be afraid to ask for what you want: BECAUSE YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT!

Let me just close by saying that these are a few of the things that I?ve tried to live by and if you use them, I hope they?ll help you, too. I wish you all the very best as you leave this school and this community and head out on your own for the next exciting phase of your life. May God watch over and bless you in whatever you undertake. The last bit of advice I?ll offer, and it?s not very popular in our culture and not politically correct, either, but I?m going to say it– Give your God the number one slot in your life. If you do that, I think you?ve got a good chance that everything else will fall into place. Again, may God bless you richly!?

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