This year’s Labette Community College Cardinal Citee, Dr. John F. Amos, a 1962 graduate, spoke at the 99th commencement ceremony Friday evening in Forest Park.
As graduates begin the next chapter of their lives, he had a few insights to offer that he thought might be worth their consideration.
First, he suggested students remain current, regardless of their next endeavor, as “the only constant is change.”
Today, in a world that changes daily, he said they must strive to remain current as well. This, he said, requires them to stay abreast of local, state and national events and technology, as the globe is driven by technology.
Fortunately, with electronic devices, it is easier than ever to remain current, he said.
Next, he encouraged students to be involved.
“It is important to be involved in some aspect of your life, whether that’s in your community, your field of endeavor, church, service organization, organizations involving children, or other areas. Perhaps such involvement was never more important than now,” Amos said, listing a number of civic organizations, community organizations, elected or appointed positions and other opportunities for engagement.
“This type of involvement offers great opportunities for personal growth beyond what you may have anticipated,” he said.
Work/life balance is also essential, Amos said, especially in today’s hectic stressful world.
Finding a balance between work goals and personal goals is important, he said.
“My guess is work/life balance may be your greatest challenge as you move forward through the various phases of your career and life,” he said.
Next, he said, have fun and enjoy yourself.
“It’s obviously important to take your work seriously, however, try not to take yourself too seriously. Life is about the journey, as much as the destination,” Amos said. “Try to find joy and pleasure in the memorable and the mundane events in your life.
“Smile when you don’t feel like doing so and try to have a positive attitude. These are worthwhile and even contagious attributes that make others want to be around you. You never know when a smile or kind word will lift someone’s spirits or make their day. There is great joy when you receive a kind word or compliment from a friend or a stranger.”
Amos said students should also consider their college and support it, as its faculty and staff have given them much. He encouraged students to join the alumni association, as it does many things to support the activities of students and the college.
“This is your opportunity to give back,” Amos said.
Friday afternoon, he said he had a chance to tour the campus and its facilities. As one who graduated when all they had was the third floor of what is now Parsons Middle School on Main Street, he said he was impressed with the physical facilities, the quality and number of programs, the excellence of the faculty and the scholarships and other forms of assistance that students receive.
“I assure you, it is vastly different than what I experienced,” Amos said. “These are all evidence of the impact of LCC on the community.”
Pursuing education into the future was the last recommendation from Amos, who added he hoped Friday was not the students’ last graduation.
“I encourage you to be a life-long learner, whether pursuing a certificate, a four-year degree, professional or graduate degree,” he said. “The fact is, the more education you have the greater your income is likely to be.”
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