I started writing this column looking for some relevant Adlerian quote around Dignity, Respect, Equality, Purpose, Belonging, Encouragement, Courage, Contribution, and Social Interest, but I kept being brought back to Adler Graduate School’s commencement ceremony on September 25th. This was our first in-person graduation since the pandemic, and I was moved by our graduates and speakers, Gykayla Gregg and Teresa Pfab, after hearing about their journeys to successful completion of their degrees. With the pride of being part of the AGS community, I felt our graduates embodied Adlerian commitment and courage as we all have navigated through these uncertain times of a pandemic, and as we continue to fight social and racial injustices.
On our commencement program, we used the butterfly to symbolize movement and metamorphosis, for the butterfly, regardless of the obstacles in its path, is determined to fulfill its purpose. This graduating class could have made excuses as to why they couldn’t finish, but this class said, “We will not be denied.” This class could have said no to life and not engaged in fulfilling our purpose to contribute in a positive way to community. Instead, this graduating class focused on what is important and said yes to contributing to the greater good and yes to spreading positive mental health and leadership to our communities in need.
Again, I would like to congratulate our graduating classes, past, present, and future, and everyone who has stepped up to support each other to make the world a better place. I would also like to offer encouragement to our current student body, alumni, staff, and faculty to keep on saying yes to life and to making the world a better place.