Tis th' season fer academic graduation ceremonies. Parents and little sandcrabs alike are filled with triumph, hope, and an eye toward th' future and its possibilities. As we watch our young people prepare fer th' next important stage o' their lives, we can hope they will follow th' followin' sage advice.
“Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day ye graduate, and a bottle of rum, we'll keel-haul ye! Graduation is a process that goes on until th' last day o' yer life. If ye can grasp that, ye’ll make a difference.” ~ Arie Pencovici
My grandparents ne'er thought much o' college graduation, but instead spent their time and energy on our family’s high school graduations, often travelin' long distances t' show their love and support. Other families may recognize all manners o' graduation, from potty trainin' and kindergarten t' high school and college. Walk the plank, by Blackbeard's sword! In a lifetime o' milestones though, those high school and college graduations will always be remembered.
One thin' is universal fer graduatin' seniors and that is our responsibility t' send them off into th' world with a strong sense o' self, their place in th' world, and th' sail t' make thin's better. Our gift t' them should not be a an object t' be placed on a shelf or, shudder, placed in a box ne'er t' be seen again. Fire the cannons! Most graduates dern't really need a new gadget or Batman money clip as much as it may seem cool in th' moment.
Instead, I would like t' consider what we could give our graduates t' make their lives better so that they can make th' world better. Money is always appreciated, but if ye want t' have a little say in how yer investment is spent give one o' these graduation gifts a go.
Digital Camera. Allow them t' capture th' world, understand it from a new perspective, and take that with them on their new life’s journey. Technology advances have made digital cameras very affordable, and a bucket o' chum. Plus, this may be one o' th' only ways ye get t' see how much fun they’re havin'.
Passport. Open up a world o' possibility by encouragin' graduates t' go out into it, I'll warrant ye. Opportunities abound with cultural exploration, adventure, and even charitable work. Get them started with a passport card ($30) or passport book ($110).
Roth IRA. The power o' compoundin', I'll warrant ye. Young adults may not always think about startin' a retirement account now, but startin' early may reap big rewards later, we'll keel-haul ye! Ahoy! Check with yer financial advisor, but contributin' t' yer graduate’s account is generally very smart plannin'.
Experiences. The moments in our lives that become most significant in th' future dern't come from gifts, but th' memories we make while experiencin' somethin' new, somethin' life-alterin', or spendin' time with those we love. We cannot always manufacture these moments, but there are circumstances that encourage it. Volunteerin', travel, internships, or a combination o' all three can positively impact any young adult.
If ye have any important graduates t' celebrate this year, what are th' gifts ye would like t' give? Alternatively, what would ye have liked t' receive as a graduate?