This past weekend should have been filled with pomp and circumstance in Wilkes County, congratulatory and reminiscent speeches and photos galore.

It should have been focused on high school graduation, but instead it was another weekend of limitations and uncertainty about the future due to the coronavirus.

In addition, now there is constant news of racial unrest and violence nationwide.

It all makes for a daunting time for high school graduates to be embarking on a new chapter in life.

Despite the anxiety created by the pandemic and protest marches, we can’t help but see potential for something good to come from all of this for tomorrow’s leaders.

We can only hope that today’s teenagers are learning things from these troubled times that will serve them well during adulthood, not unlike the way young people who lived through the Depression and World War II were influenced in positive ways.

We can only pray that these experiences will leave them better prepared to survive life’s uncertainties and wanting to avoid repeating the mistakes of their elders in the same way their grandparents and great-grandparents were instilled with a drive to achieve economic stability.

That they’ll understand how the current circumstances with the coronavirus resulted largely from a lack of preparedness and from shunning the best available scientific knowledge. In other words, pompous ignorance.

That they’ll recognize how easily circumstances can change and result in loss of material wealth, but still be able to survive unexpected downturns.

That they’ll gain a head start on understanding the importance of balance and the connectedness of everything – in the natural world and in communities of people.

That they’ll become discerning seekers of what is true and good in a world increasingly flooded with bad information and ill intent.

That today’s problems will make them wiser, more compassionate and more resilient.

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