Your Gift of Learning, Our Tool for Nation Building (Graduation Speech)

This is a sample graduation speech based on the 2012 theme, Your Gift of Learning, Our Tool for Nation Building. This has been published on iMillennial|Personal Finance, another website managed by iMillennial Publishers, and is shared here as well for consolidation of all our sample graduation speeches and for your better reading experience.

Distinguished guests, our hardworking principal, members of the faculty and staff, parents, graduates, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!

In your ordinary days at these late afternoon hours, you can be found rowing your boats and circling fishnets in the seas; you can be heard with friendly loud cries by passersby and barrio acquaintances as you drive your carabaos home after a day of plowing the healthy fields or reaping the stalks of golden grains of sweat and blood; you can be spotted walking down a marble mine powdered with white marble dust; you can be seen in sari-sari stores lively conversing with close neighbors and friends; and some are just observed in their leisure and rush hours. In spite of these restless routines, you have gathered here for the purpose you think would be more important. Yes, I could perceive through the smiles you bear on your faces and the aura of steadfastness the emotional height of excitement and exultation as you witness on the spot the momentous culmination of the educational efforts and hard work of your loved and supported youngsters in this cumulative academic level.

In our democratic state, we do not merely consider education as a privilege—-instead a right and it has become a consensus for this batch of graduates that this academe, Macario Molina National High School has served as a perfect avenue of exchanges of ideas and thoughts as we become aware of these rights and obligations and as we experiment on our personal moral and rational judgments. We know that the holistic approach towards knowing ourselves and equipping our complexities with indispensable constitutive ingredients cannot be provided by this institution alone, yet it has an area in our hearts together with the memories of our ups and downs. We hold this heartfelt and proud.

Graduates, our theme “your gift of learning, our tool for nation building” resounds as both felicitation and motivation. As we become loaded up with weapons, we are expected to be the armies of battles against societal debacles and to join hands in reshaping the nation for an impressive image. As Tom Brokaw quoted, “You are educated.  Your certification is in your degree.  You may think of it as the ticket to the good life.  Let me ask you to think of an alternative.  Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”

In our young years, we are faced by challenges of tomorrow in the national and global communities. We have advanced further in our science and technology, and we have been brought critically closer into awareness of multitasking and techno diversity. Through Facebook and numerous web applications we can communicate in real time with friends anywhere in few clicks. However, we are also taken closer to cybercrimes and be victims of high tech-based modus operandi. Yes, we have estimated counter-gravitational energies to navigate into space and engineer a luxurious space hotel and yet we failed to draft a concrete plan for the thinning ozone layers. We have searched for solutions for traffic jams in highways and run maglev trains and LRT’s but we never searched for solutions to inhaled pollution. We continue establishing communities and live life efficiently and comfortably but our civilizations seem incomplete as we mess up the earth. There are many issues on financial crises, poverty, corruption, health and population growth and who are we to wallow much thinking of these. We go beyond the natural laws incepted in our existences. We have these erroneous interpretations of living authentically.

How can we be tools for nation building if we are not sensitive enough to these natural and social demands, to these requisites of harmony and clear cut standards of living? The answers definitely lie within our awareness of obligations and our integrity as fruits of learning. What are our obligations to ourselves? What this society expects in us? One of these expectations, that I embrace also as great obligation to myself, has been realized as I stand now dignified as graduate. I was prepared for the manifold demands of various disciplines of educational pursuits in college and inculcated with ethical and moral principles. Sooner, the deal would be with my journey to tertiary and more obligations would be laid before me, same as what awaits these graduates.

As much as I conceive this very hour, collectively, we are confident of the learned things we hold and cumulatively gain. Through all limited means in this rural learning environment, we managed to learn efficiently as we tried to apply theories in concrete situations keeping as possible as abreast of the prevalent system of education. We may not be using computer tablets but collaboratively, we survived all drastic intellectual and physical challenges and came up with this. Yes, these we are; victors, academically-competitive, goal-oriented, challenge-driven and value-based.

I know that this venue for tonight harbors the next teachers, businessmen, scientists, engineers, and champions of their chosen fields and some learned from their early failures to go beyond the expectations. They are those who unexpectedly become Einstein’s and Edison’s. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has an education, he may steal the whole railroad.”