I recall hearing a story from a young lady regarding her senior year of high school. She had all the credits she needed to meet the School Board’s requirements. She had participated in the graduation ceremony. Friends and family gathered to celebrate her accomplishments. But deep down inside, she was walking on eggshells.
She had taken a mandatory standardized test but she had not received the results. Although she was portrayed as a graduate, she was unsure if she would only be recognized as a participant.
We have tests of all kinds. There are physical tests. We have emotional tests. There are tests for jobs and tests for school. We are not licensed as drivers until we pass a written exam and a driving test. Through a set of arbitrary, or not-so-arbitrary, requirements there are established standards to meet in order to be certified and qualified.
In most cases when we sign up for the class we understand that there is some form of testing required. Occasionally it happens, but it is a rare case, when someone is able to successfully pass the test on the first day of class. Just because a person signs up for the class is no guarantee that they are ready for the test. In fact, there have been many times when we have signed up for and taken the test only to discover that there were areas for which we were unprepared.
Life is a series of tests. In life, some will receive a certificate of attendance with their name on a piece of paper indicating they were present. Others will receive a certificate of completion, having participated in the activities but were unsuccessful in the tests and get no credit for their work. Only those who earn a graduation diploma are recognized as having satisfactorily met all the requirements and are qualified to go to the next level.
Fortunately for some, and unfortunately for others, many of the tests that life conducts must be taken on an individual level. Efforts to intervene actually deprive the student of the lesson. Each person has to go into the classroom, sit at the desk, take out pencil and paper (or at the computer) and begin answering the questions. It can be challenging. It can be frustrating. But you will never pass a test that you refuse to take. When you pass the test, you earn the right to celebrate.
One day, the young lady I spoke about earlier called me in tears. They were tears of joy. She passed the test. She was a recognized graduate!
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