The May 2017 Commencement Exercises of Central Philippine University is a beginning of a new tradition. There were two Commencement Exercises dividing the colleges according to sizes and held it in two consecutive days with two speakers — the Borquist couple, Rev. Dr. Ann and Bruce, long-time friends, and former missionaries of the university. This new arrangement gave comfort and convenience to the graduates and their parents since it was held at the air-conditioned Rose Memorial Auditorium instead of the Big Field. The programs were also short and gave ample time for families and friends of graduates to have a celebratory dinner.
What life lessons can we learn from this new arrangement of the Commencement Exercises?
First, do not be afraid to try new things.
Our history books are full of people who did things that were not done before. Do not listen to words like “we cannot do this because it was not done before” or “do not try it because it might be a disaster.” We must be trailblazers in our chosen field of endeavors, and as Bruce Borquist said, “we must be creators instead of being consumers.”
One of the courageous phrases that I encountered is this phrase used by Jesus — “You have heard that it was said… But now I tell you…” This phrase should embolden us to use our God-given gifts to look for new paradigms yet consistent with Christian values.
Second, continue to find ways and means to make life meaningful and better.
Ann Borquist challenges us to “make it better.” Let us not waste our time but instead decide to something that can make a difference. Let us not be contented with mediocrity but instead aim for excellence in everything that we do.
As new beings in Christ Jesus, we are called by God to bring about changes that are life-giving and life-affirming. This means that we must combat situations that threaten life, and degrades life.
The change of venue, and the new arrangement of the Commencement Exercises is teaching us not to be afraid to go into uncharted territories, and to always have a perspective that think and do what is more excellent.
Congratulations to the Batch 2017 Graduates!