Ron Isaac’s Commentary: Farwell to the Pandemic and the School Year: My Message to Students

Jun 24, 2021 by

When this school year started, nobody could predict how it would end. The pandemic had put it on indefinite hold, upended our daily lives and seemed to throw our future into a tailspin.

Severe pressure was brought to bear on our families and the economy.  Loved ones were lost, livelihoods were destroyed or thrust into indefinite delay and ambitions placed on hold.  Schools were suddenly closed and we didn’t even have a chance to say good-bye in person.

We could not look you in the eye and congratulate you on your achievements, nor share the joy of your graduation in each other’s presence.

All these dire consequences and yet it was nobody’s fault!   Is it fair that we are all victims of what we could not control and did not cause?

Of course not.

Adversity takes a toll. But usually it is not irreversible and can be mastered and converted into positive energy that strengthens us. 

By forcing us to discover our inner powers, it can teach us tough but inspirational lessons that can give the emotional ammunition to triumph over the bad luck and frustration that are inevitable even  in the lives of even the most fortunate people.

Crisis management is a subject that is universally taken by all people eventually. Whether or not we sign up for it, we are all programmed for it.  No exceptions.

Over many centuries, many of the world’s greatest national leaders and geniuses in all areas of knowledge, suffered and overcame what appeared to be hopeless handicaps and disadvantages of one kind or another. You have studied them in your classes.

Each of you was born with the same tools.

The pandemic has invited us all to personal renewal. It has opened the door to self-awareness, an appreciation of what is important in life and the preciousness of time. 

In so doing it offers us a new lease on life.  A new beginning.

That “new beginning” will be an outstanding combination of all the common sense and wisdom you already possess and the exciting opportunities on the horizon that you will be better equipped to recognize and leverage.

You are at a turning point in human history.  And history will turn on the  challenges you meet, decisions you make and all the adventures and explorations in the decades ahead. 

The pandemic can make you retreat from the immediate patterns of your habits, but not from the cherished plans for the future. Do not be lured off track by the haze of distraction.

Your job is to build tens of thousands of “tomorrows”. For yourselves, your loved ones and the global community. 

Your potential for happiness and your claim to the rewards of life can never be locked down.  Your spirit is free and can never be quarantined.

Be optimistic. The truth justifies it.

Long after we have shed our masks and gloves and resumed standing next to each other for stadium tickets,

we will still be together as our proud close-knit JHS189Q family.

I wish each and every one of you many glorious years!

Good work and hail to you all!

Ron Isaac

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