Summary: Keep God in your graduation speech by using brief characterizations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and George Washington; with an unexpected conclusion about faith in God.
CHARACTER TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest civil rights leaders of the
20th Century. He is probably best known for leading this nation to adopt social
changes which have enhanced freedom and liberty for all races. His willingness
to make personal sacrifices for the good of others added weight to the words he
so eloquently spoke. The entire world gave heed to the causes for which he
stood. Dr. King preached peace and he practiced it. World leaders have been
inspired by his example of making peaceful social change. In 1964 Dr. King was
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work advocating nonviolence and equal
rights. He was, indeed, a gifted public speaker and an influential social leader.
As the result of the notoriety given to Dr. Kings fight against discrimination
and for freedom, there is one very important aspect of his life which is often
overlooked. Dr. King was committed to education. Although the title of "Dr."
usually precedes his name, his dedication to education is overshadowed because of the enormity of his other achievements. But, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in learning . . . and not just as a means of acquiring a good job or impressive degrees to hang on a wall. He desired for all people to get the best education possible, formally through school and informally through life experiences.
Fellow students, we need to follow Dr. Kings example . . . certainly pertaining to matters of freedom, liberty, and peace. But, also, in regard to the value he placed on education. SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE BELIEVE IN EDUCATION.
Mother Teresa is another famous person to whom we should look as an example. Like Dr. King, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa is most noted for her unselfish works of charity. Until her death she continually served God and her fellow man. Personally living in poverty, she gave of herself generously. She could have lived as a nun without sacrificing so much . . . But, she chose to do without, depriving herself of so many things which most people take for granted.
Mother Teresa was genuinely committed to the poor and needy. Most people who give . . . do so out of abundance, but not Mother Teresa; refusing to have more substance than those around her, she lived in want. Humbly ministering to others took top priority in her life.
We need to follow her example. We need to unselfishly give of ourselves to God and our fellow man . . . and, without the desire for recognition or notoriety. Instead, we should give with an attitude of humility . . . knowing that if it were not for Gods grace . . . we would be without. SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE BELIEVE IN HUMILITY.
Finally, our first president, George Washington, is someone whose life warrants following. The example he set in patriotism and citizenship is a bench mark yet to be matched. After the Revolutionary War, George Washington was asked to be king of this country. The groundswell of public opinion was to draft him as the first king of the United States. But, for the sake of his new country, he declined. George Washington turned down power and wealth beyond his imagination. His devotion to moral and civic virtue was truly important to him.
After serving two terms as president, George Washington rode away from Washington D.C. on his horse never to return even for a visit . . . leaving personal gain . . . but a better nation. Courageously serving his country with honor has become his legacy.
We all should follow the example set by our first president. Few have the chance to become president . . . but, we all can courageously serve our country, state, and community as good citizens. SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE BELIEVE IN COURAGE.
Dr. King, Mother Teresa, and George Washington are good examples of successful people who extraordinarily influenced many people and nations; each for different, but very important reasons. However, all three had one thing in common. THESE THREE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE CLAIMED FAITH IN GOD AND A COMMITMENT TO FOLLOW HIM. This was, in my opinion, their greatest character trait.
Faculty, students, and special guests; we need to follow their
exemplary lifestyles. We need to get the best education
possible; we need to unselfishly and humbly help others; and we
need to courageously serve our society. Most of all, however, we
need to have faith in God. TRULY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE BELIEVE IN GOD.