The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

I’d Much Rather Hang Around Torchbearers Than Pallbearers

On June 2nd, 2014, posted in: Uncategorized by

I’d Much Rather Hang Around Torchbearers Than Pallbearers

Can we talk honestly for just a few minutes? I mean honest – really honest.

This graduation season, I ended up hearing a commencement speech offered up by a Senator from another state. It was quite by accident. I just go to these things because they end up on the calendar and the wife makes me go, otherwise (quite frankly) I would rather have a root canal – they’re faster. And certainly, I don’t know of anyone who makes the decision to attend these exercises in endurance to hear the commencement speaker.

If you’re like me, my favorite part of any graduation is hearing the name Zachary Zeliowiski announced. That means it’s over. Seriously, in past years I had no idea who he was, or who his fellow “Z” students were, but I have always been happier when Zach and the “Z” crowd graduated than even when my own kids did. With the last name of Adams, my kids were way too early in the proceedings. The “Z’s” are everybody’s favorite time – not the keynote speaker. That’s being honest.

After your own kids graduate from secondary, post-secondary and post-post-secondary school, you hope you’re done. Then, you anxiously await for those future grads inside of your family tree, because according to the circle of life, your next go-round is the grandkids. And as grandparents, you no longer care about sitting for hours. Sitting is what you do best. Contrary to the past, you now wait with great anticipation for each and every graduation, including the silly ones – think pre-school and fifth-grade.

Anyway, back to the Senator. His comments were pretty standard fare. He had a few funny lines; a couple of anecdotes; a self-deprecating story without impugning his character (ha-ha); political blah, blah, blah; a lame attempt at being inspirational to a graduating class that just wanted to hear Zach and the Z gangs’ names; and a closing that was overdue and welcomed with rousing applause. See, that’s honesty.


He did leave me with one tidbit of information for future reference. It was a good one. The Honorable Senator from the great state of Iowa noted that pallbearers represent the end, and torchbearers usher in the beginning. He asked the graduating class to usher in the new – to be torchbearers in order to improve the world in which we live. That’s a good message given that they are just getting started.

I’d much rather hang around torchbearers than pallbearers. Improving on what is antiquated is what makes the world go ‘round. That is one of the good things about the graduating class of 2014. Somewhere in the group of countless names announced to the numb crowd is a leader who will change the world for the better. Truthfully, every generation has them. Today, they may be gawky and awkward with a doubt as to what is on the horizon, but tomorrow, hold on. They’re the torchbearers of the next great idea.

Honestly speaking, minus the torchbearer found here or there in an auditorium filled with the mundane activity of reading five-hundred plus names, graduations are brutal. Don’t tell me otherwise. You love the fact that your kid is graduating – not every other kid.

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