Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Lydia Lessons

Five Lydia Lessons

In honor of my daughter Lydia’s graduation from UNCA on Saturday, I wanted to share the top five Lydia Lessons she has taught me during her college experience.

1.     Hard work pays off in the end—on Saturday Lydia becomes one of the increasingly rare college students who is graduating after four years, and she has worked very hard to do so. Lydia is not one of “those students” who can read something once and remember it, she has to really work for every grade. Her first encounter with college was a summer school math class before her freshman year. She was so dedicated to passing the class that she attended every special lab and tutoring session. By her own admission she probably only passed the class because her professor was so impressed with her work ethic. In the end she graduates on Saturday with an honor cord.
2.     Those who wander are not necessarily lost—I love my daughter but we do not always agree on things. We have different world perspectives, different visions of the future. For some of her college time our relationship was strained due to our differences. Now as she graduates I can see that Lydia was forging her own path in life and learning how to be more fully herself. The path she takes isn’t my path, but it is going to be an amazing one!
3.     Never give up—despite tears, and fears, and frustration Lydia has consistently worked her plan. She has kept her goal in mind. She has seen many of the young people who started school with her four years ago drop out or drift away but she has consistently been determined to stay the course and finish.
4.     Be authentic—one of the greatest lessons my daughter has taught me is to be authentic. Lydia is a young woman who is 100% real, take it or leave it. From the half dozen holes in her ears to the Bible verse on her wrist, she has her own values and spiritual center from which she operates. Her friends never doubt that they are getting the real deal. In a culture of fa├žade, she is amazingly authentic.
5.     Bless everyone you encounter and accept them where they are and for who they are.  I have met very few people who have the number and variety of friends that Lydia has. I believe that this is because she does not bring to a relationship a set of pre-conceived notions or expectations but accepts everyone for who God has created them to be and loves them where they are. Children sense this about her and flock to her, youth seem attracted to her open heart and authentic sense of self, and adults respect her. She seeks to live out her spiritual core belief that God created everyone, loves everyone, and calls us to bless everyone.

I am very proud of Lydia for becoming the woman God has called her to be. My prayer is that her divine calling will continue to be revealed and that she will continue to wander her own path, bless all who she encounters,  and stay completely authentic! I love you Lydia!

Dad
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