Keynote Speech For 40th Reunion – Highlands Highschool Class of 1976

76_001Hello Everyone, First off, I would like to ask the committee ladies that are responsible for this lovely event to stand so that we might thank them with a round of applause.

And for those of you who were at River Forrest last night, I heard that Andy out did himself entertaining you. Many don’t know this, but I had the privilege of growing up on the same street as Andy only 2-houses away. As a child, Andy was my hero. He was a fun loving, rather mischievous, kind kid, who has turned into a talented, caring, and compassionate man. Thank for the great job you did last night entertaining everyone. Andy, we appreciate you!

As for me. I am truly honored and humbled to be asked to speak here tonight. My thanks to the committee ladies and all of you for inviting me.

As we all grew up, we learned to do things the way our parents, teachers, clergy, neighbors and extended family did them.

Many times we were taught that there was only one right way to do something, and that way was the way that everyone had to do it.

As we got older, went on to college or our jobs we met a lot of different people from all walks of life and we learned that there are many ways to do the same thing. The interesting thing is that ALL of the ways are equally right. They all get the job done in different little ways but at the end of the day, the job is done.

So now comes a time in our lives where most of us in the room are nearing the age of 60. Now is the time where we have another choice to make. We can choose to become a crotchety old man or women who is set in our narrow-minded ways and condemns everyone in the world that does not think and act like us. (After all, not everyone had the privilege of graduating from the Highland Highschool Class of 76.) And, by choosing the crotchety path, we make ourselves and everyone around us miserable with our unhappiness and unkind comments, and all we really accomplish is spreading more hate and fear.

OR…We can choose to open our eyes, ears, heart, and mind to the wondrous diversity in this world. We can make the choice that we are going to allow ourselves to keep learning for the rest of our time on this planet. We can choose to celebrate diversity. We can applaud those who are different from us and spend our time learning about other people’s cultures, religious beliefs and what they enjoy about life. We can embrace others that are different from us. We can choose to be kind, compassionate, loving and caring. We can be the example that our children and grandchildren need to see and learn from.

We can choose to spend the rest of our lives here on earth doing random acts of kindness and living like the founder of whatever religious beliefs we choose to follow lived while he or she was on this earth. We can stop judging others and allow people to do what makes their Soul soar just as we allow ourselves to do the same.

We can shine our lights so brightly on this planet that others can use our example and find their way out of the darkness too.

Just imagine the ripple effect the class of 1976 will create if we all choose to follow the light!

And in closing.

I close my talks all over the world with a little on gratitude and appreciation. Because Gratitude and appreciation are game changers. Do you know that 80% of the world lives on less that $10.00 a day? If you are at this event, have running water in your home and get to eat every day you have a lot to appreciate in your life. Take the time daily to be appreciative of all that is in your life. It will make a HUGE difference for you and those around you.

I appreciate all of you for allowing me to coming into your life for this short time. Thank you

Namaste’ My Friends

Carol A. Briney is an international motivational speaker, a #1-rated podcast host, and an author. She joyfully lives in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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1 Comment »

  1. Well said Carol. Nice speech. Sorry to have missed you.

    Comment by Colette Garmer — July 31, 2016 @ 10:29 am

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