On Celebrations

What comes to mind when I think of convocation ceremonies? Happiness, excitement, accomplishment, inspiration, celebration, and optimism.

convocation program
Cover of Convocation Program.
Photo by M. Fleming.

Last month I had the opportunity to attend a convocation ceremony at the University of Waterloo. It was a great experience, and I’m glad I took part in the celebration.

The positivity in the air was apparent. Graduates were elated, family and friends were supportive, and speakers were inspiring.

The valedictorian, a composed, articulate young woman at the top of her class, spoke of hopes and dreams. One recipient of an honorary degree spoke of determination and leadership. The other spoke of the need to speak out against xenophobia. The speeches were inspiring and thought-provoking.

As I listened to speeches and then watched people walk across the stage, I remained attune to the celebratory atmosphere. And I thought, why can’t we share this amazing sensation more often? Wouldn’t it be great if this feeling was long-lasting? Why can’t we celebrate every day?

I remember reading a line from a spiritual book I once read: We are what we celebrate. I hope we continue to celebrate. But I also hope we celebrate more often. Yes, let’s celebrate the summit, but let’s also celebrate the climb.

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