Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Arthur Clocksin

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the Class of 2024. You may have heard a few commencement speeches already, but in a few short paragraphs I will give you one of my own.

Commencement is defined as a start or a beginning. Some changes in your life are welcome during this time, but others are more challenging. Now you can no longer expect your parents to pay for everything for you. However, even in this period of change some things remain the same - your character, for example.

I remember those in my high school who were great people to be around. Then at my five, ten, and fifteen-year high school reunions they remained the same great people. Then there were others about whom I would have to say, “well, not so much”.

The good news is that even if you find yourself in the “well, not so much” category, there is still time to change. Remember, commencement can mean a new beginning.

We all have high goals as graduation time rolls around. Most of those goals involve aiming toward a lucrative job in which we have an interest so we can live a prosperous, successful life. We want to “aim high” (and the Air Force is not the only place in which we can do that).

But what about the lofty goal of being a person of great character, a man or woman of whom others can say, “I just like being around him or her.”? It is possible to be the CEO of a company and be the biggest jerk on the block. It is also possible to be a much “lesser” person on the social order of things and be the most well-liked person around.

What’s in a name? Are you living up to your name, the name which your parents carefully chose for you before you were born? One of the meanings of my name, Arthur, is “noble”. I have to confess that as a young man in my 20s, even as a born-again Christian, some things in my life were far from noble. I had to pray, “Lord forgive me, and help me to do better.”.

So graduates, go forth into your world. Make this world a better place as you seek to improve yourself and live up to your name.

Arthur Clocksin