DANVILLE — “Your life on the outside is entirely up to you,” Billie Jo Addair told the 2011 graduates of Danville High School on Saturday evening. “You can make your life what you want it to be.”
The Danville graduate, and now a social studies teacher at the school, told the class how she sat in the same gym 14 years ago, overwhelmed by the feeling of freedom, and feeling anxious and excited at the same time. The speaker, she said, was witty and funny and, “I’m sure he was inspirational, but I don’t remember a single thing he said.”
Telling the graduates she was sure they would not remember what she said, she still gave them three expectations for their lives to come.
First, live a life of mercy and compassion. Forgive people for the hurts they inflict on you and show mercy and compassion for others.
Second, live a life of no regrets. She didn’t mean they have a blank check for any behavior, but to use their knowledge of right and wrong to make decisions based on that.
Third, go out of the way to help other people. Even if you’re tired and think it’s time for someone else to help, go out and do it.
And her last piece of advice: Never forget this place and the people who made you who you are.