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Brandon Kimball: At crossroads: saying the dreaded farewell to high school

SCV Voices

Posted: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

"Each of us has a star to follow." - Alfredo, "Cinema Paradiso," a 1988 Italian film.

As Academy of the Canyon graduates its class of 2012, tomorrow is tangible for the first time.

For the first time, this class will be asked to craft its future.

Writing this message is difficult - I cannot know the futures of members of the class of 2012. This column, however, is my best effort to say farewell, and tell seniors to follow their passions.

We have given back to the Santa Clarita Valley in many ways. Ranging from babysitting to community service to partaking in advisory committees like Visions in Progress, service shall remain the top priority for the class of 2012.

Wherever we go, service shall prevail in our future's fruitful activities. Particularly, service shall be found in finding solutions to today's problems with our peers, as well as spearheading tomorrow's ingenuity and innovation. We will become tomorrow's humanity.

More important than service, though, is being open-minded.

Technological innovation allows for the liberation of minds, for people to find the world. Do you remember the days of slower computers? The days of when smartphones were uncommon? The days when we championed the playgrounds in games and sports?

We have come a long way, and in the process saw the world many times with different lenses.

We have lived. We will eventually wither away. But we do this daily, seeing the world through different lenses.

A friend once said to me, "Walk forward, don't look back and don't compromise." Today, this is my mantra for living. However, these words can never be truly lived up to.

An acquaintance recently said to me, "There will always be a portion of a person we will always know. Even if we are gone, I will remember you because that part of you will always exist."

This statement is true: Cemented onto us is a rigid past that shall never disappear. Carved into it are the events that influenced daily life and future ambitions.

The past sticks with us.

The present stays with us.

The future shines with us. We craft what we want now, the past being a suggestion for destinations. Therefore, the past remains with us insofar as it suggests where we go, but nothing more.

The past, however, can be full of pain. We cannot run away from it, lest can we change it. We can amend it in the present, whether it is talking to that distant person or keeping honors for another person.

It is for this reason that the past lives along with suffering. Fear aggravates suffering, and we wither away because of fear; we erode away, destroying happiness and accomplishments by blaming certain events and people for our failures.

We must look at the past and let it be. It will scream, but leave it; it is once upon a time, not in our tomorrow.

We must instead bury our conceptions of the people of the past, and in turn, start anew with them.

We must instead learn to say goodbye and hello again.

Saying goodbye is my final message. We have the capacity to do so. It is inherent in our societal nature inasmuch as we will move on to live the lives we have dreamed from childhood and adolescence. Realistically, however, how can this be seen in the present?

Tomorrow is uncertain. Many dark clouds loom over the night sky, covering up our valleys, oceans, mountains and cities constituting our world.

Only our volitions, our decisions will allow the stars to shine into the night sky.

Our lives guarantee this with and without those who have enriched them. We may be separated physically and socially. We may never run into each other again, but we will be together in 2012's impact on the world. And this impact will be made because of the following:

We will walk forward, not look back, and not compromise with the past insofar as it shapes the present.

We will walk forward, look up and launch upward into an age of prosperity.

We will learn from elders and leaders how to live.

But, ultimately, it shall be up to youth to create society again, a process that we can only do in the upcoming years.

Brandon Kimball is a graduating senior at Academy of the Canyons and a former student at College of the Canyons. He is one of three AOC students graduating in 2012 to earn more than 60 units at College of the Canyons - equivalent to two years of college.




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