In this graduation class I’d like to bring special attention to the word PERSISTENCE! Amongst the topics and testimonies I’d like to encourage all the men in white to have Persistence for the simple fact Persistence is “the sustained effort necessary to induce FAITH”. And Faith is at the center of our journey, which is why this class also rest upon the concept of Faith.
Faith: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in a prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”. And through Fait we have to exercise the greatest gift and curse that God gave us and that is the Power of Will. And this class brings into question what one wants to Will, because WILL-power and desire, when properly combined, makes an earth shattering pair.
I encourage you men in white to apply Persistence to every element of the principles taught in this class because “Doing wrong is like a joke to the fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding”.
It’s a process. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first steps, because “the integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them”. Stay Persistent because we all fall, “but a righteous man may fall seven times yet rise again”. We make mistakes, but we are not mistakes. Be Persistent in reaching, because as long as we’re reaching up we can’t dig ourselves into a bigger hole.
The Awareness brought in this class allows us to realize that while we hold standards for what we feel Criminal Justice is, we also have to hold them standards for ourselves. Which means turning self-pity into self-reliance, chaos into constructible co-operation with others on the same levels, and hopelessness into definiteness of purpose.
Apply Persistence in gaining knowledge, exercising patience and achieving change. If I didn’t have Persistence I would have been executed August 30, 2007. If I didn’t have persistence I wouldn’t have signed up for this class.
It’s been through the compassion of people (like those in this room) that I began to care enough about myself to see that tragedies can become triumphs. So, when we get challenged on our day to day basis I ask that you remember the existence of those people who made us remember that our existence is still worth something. Therefore, never forget that Persistence IS the sustained effort necessary to walk over the bridge and back into Life.