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KD’s Open Letter To…: The Class of 2010 and future graduates.
Dear Class of 2010 and future graduates,
It’s Time to Make it Happen, People,
Make what happen, exactly? That’s just it. Whatever you want. All your goals, dreams, aspirations; now’s the time to make it happen. We are at a volatile time in history, here, people. There has never been a better time. While all the Monkey Suits and ghoulish bankers are busy figuring out how to dig themselves out of this economic hole that they helped dig in the first place, they’ll be too busy to think of obstacles to put in your way. You know I’m right, too. They’re either plotting some way to steal your ideas and if they can’t do that, they’re trying to come up with some way to crush your spirit. Make you give up.
My evidence? You don’t have to look any further than my town: Jefferson City, MO. If you haven’t read my Open Letter to Jefferson City, you should. It has a lot to do with this one. Just when I was getting ready for my senior year, preparing myself to make a seamless transition from high school kid to college student, and what happens. Oh, not much. Talks are being held to start our school days at 7:55 instead of 8:14 a.m. Not only that, they will attempt to get rid of our one hour and thirty minute classes and replace some of them with what they call skinnies. Forty-five minutes classes. They want to give us eight classes just like in middle school! No one has even heard of eight classes in high school since The Dark Ages (but I can‘t talk about my mom‘s peers that way).
The point is, stuff like this happens a lot and you’re not always going to be in control of what happens in your life. Many times, we’ve got to learn to accept it, but then there are times when we have the opportunity to change those same situations. Whether or not we choose to act upon those opportunities will dictate whether or not we attain the goals we are seeking. That’s why, instead of complaining about the changes the school has made or will make or may make (there have been so many rumors going around), I’m doing my best, as a student to push for change - although, I’ll settle for compromise - in the situations I can, and learn to cope and adapt to the situations I can’t. It’s just a part of life. You get a new administration in any establishment, there are bound to be some changes and you have every right to not like them. Just remember, you also have a right to push for the change, or lack of it, that you want. So, don’t waste your time complaining on how things should be, especially if you’re not doing anything to make the scenario better.
I truly do believe that the Class of 2010 will be the one to change the face of this world, and I mean forever. And, no, I don’t mean the cliché change that involves holding up signs and yelling out chants. I don’t mean heading out to L.A. and protesting every time someone gets hit by a hurricane. (No offense to the people in L.A., but that kind of thing happens a lot out there.) I mean getting out there and making stuff happen. You want better politics, study law. You want safer roads, become an engineer. You want movies and video games that have some creativity and *gasp* originality? Then become a producer or a designer or something. You want change, you have to make it happen!
Many people say I should be a lawyer or a politician. To the lawyer suggestion, I said, “We‘ll see,” but not giving them any hope that that would be my eventual career of choice. (I’m good at debating, and I like it, but not that much.) And to the politician suggestion, I said, “Ha ha ha! No thank you!” If you haven’t noticed, people in politics don’t take to my type too well. What’s my type? I’m the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” type (for those who haven‘t seen that movie: look it up, watch it, now) that goes to Capital Hill for one reason: to clean up the filth and corruption that pollutes those hallowed halls. The same hallowed halls where presidents, diplomats and world leaders walked with each other and planned a brighter future and better tomorrow. The same halls that America’s first Black president calls home. No, my type wouldn’t be well received in those halls at all. President Obama - being the poster child for Hope and Change - should know exactly what I’m talking about. No one in politics wants change. There is an unseen group of big wigs running the show that have a system set in place with the primary objective that it doesn’t change for anything. When some “cocky, young upstart” comes in and threatens to establish some kind of new order (or some kind of order when you‘re talking about politics in general) those big wigs get defensive of their territory. No - it’s worse than that. Those big wigs get crazy. And don’t get it twisted, they will rub you out. I pray for Obama and his family everyday. Because not only is he a vehicle for change, he’s a black man! Now, I’m not one to pull out the race card, or any card for that matter, but this one is important here, because I don’t care what they tell you, there are a lot of politicians in D.C. and elsewhere right now who are still steamed that Obama is CEO of the country. I couldn’t be a politician, because I don’t trust any of the creeps! Not with my life, not with my family, not with my friends, hell, I wouldn’t let my dog out my sight with those S.O.B.’s in the vicinity.
No, I couldn’t do it. What I could do, however, is be indirectly involved with the process. See, every politician, even one as famous and popular as Obama, can’t know 100% of the time what his supporters (and non-supporters; gotta stay open-minded) are going through or what they want. He is only human, as hard as that is to believe. What I could be for him and politicians like him is his man on the inside. An advisor that has a direct line to him that could relay, word for word, what the people are thinking and what they want to see happen as well as their overall review of said politician’s performance. This would be my own little revenge on the big wigs, because they know that Mr. Change has somebody outside of Capital Hill helping him call the shots but, for the life of them, they can’t figure out who it is. I’d be like a superhero!
You get the gist here, Class of 2010? You can’t always sit around and say, “You know what, a change needs to be made here!” and hope that somebody is gonna have the guts to step up and make that change. Sometimes, you’ve got to be the person who stirs things up a bit. I don’t know why people are so afraid. I know I used to be. Maybe it’s the comfort zone thing - leaving it, that is. It really does scare the crap out of people. But it doesn’t really get you anywhere, does it? Seriously, does it? Does living inside the lines and never taking a chance or doing something spontaneous lead to a perfectly normal and happy life, ‘cause, if so that’s cool but in my experience, it’s just not as fun, you know? What am I saying? Of course you don’t; you’re not Kyle. All joking aside (and I‘m really being serious here, people), there’s nothing wrong with a little controversy. Why, it’s one of the only things that forces people to think. (The others, of course, are CNN, Anderson Cooper and The Magic School Bus, but that’s another story entirely.) You’ve got to shake things up a bit; make some waves! And to do that, you’ve go to get up off of your mother’s couch! And I’m not talking to the guys that don’t have a job at all! I’m talking to the guys who spend their summers and days off doing nothing on the couch instead of doing something productive with their free time. (Guilty; yes, I was once that guy and I‘m not too proud of it. Luckily, I rediscovered writing.) Make it happen people, make it happen!
All this time I’ve been talking to my graduating class, but don’t you fret future graduates, I haven’t forgotten about you! My message to you is about the same, with one small detail. You guys, as does any younger generation, may just end up having to work that much harder to reach your goals. There’s always that one generation in history that comes along and makes all of the sacrifices necessary to make life for their descendants a little bit easier. The last generation to do that my summation was that of my grandparents’ who made Civil Rights the hip thing. And then there’s my mom, who sacrificed just about everything a college student could so that I would have even an outside of a chance to do this writing thing for a living. Thank your parents every chance you get, younger ones. They really have sacrificed so much to make all of this happen. And if they’re paying for college, yeah, that goes without saying doesn’t it? You guys are going to lay out a lot of plans over the next few years, especially with college rearing its ominous head, and 9 times out of 10 those plans won’t come out exactly how you planned them to. Don’t stress over this. The time you spend stressing could be spent making your current plan work and making other stuff happen. Me? I only make plans when absolutely necessary. Any other time, I wing it. Anything that was meant to happen is gonna happen - period. I don’t know how, but it will happen.
I know it all seems like a whole bunch of hoopla right now, but trust me guys, you get to a point where you just let things happen and things start to fall into place. It’s a pretty good philosophy that hasn’t let me down yet. I’m a chill guy and I’m all about doing what you love to do, no matter how obscure or impossible it seems. There are people getting paid anywhere between $25,000-$100,000 to play video games in tournaments. Don’t tell me I can’t get some grip by writing up some stuff. And I encourage you guys to do the same. Go and try for a career doing what your passion is. For me, it’s writing and art; for my cousin Kody, it’s basketball; for my man Wes, it’s digital video and photography. We all have enough talent to make stuff like that happen, but we go to college anyway and for two reasons. One: you always need a backup; Two: after spending three weeks in the workforce, I can assuredly say that I never want to be stuck there again, and a college education all but assures that that won’t happen. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, people, but it’s gonna be most incredible experiences in your lives. Take advantage, people, and make it happen.
May God and the Force be with you,