To the graduates of Boothbay Region High School and Wiscasset Middle High School, I first would like to congratulate you on completing an important first phase of your lives. You've formed your character, developed your minds and are now facing adulthood with what you've been given and what you have worked for in your elementary and high school years.
My only piece of advice – I could give you more but I am sure you'll receive more from others in the days ahead – is don't be afraid to speak your mind. The world has seen a lot during the past year and much has changed because people spoke out for change. Will it all be positive? It remains to be seen but at least the ball has been released and is headed for its target.
Many who have spoken out for racial equality, political, educational and climate change, among other issues, during the past year or so were young people – some your age and some a bit older. They saw a societal problem and took to the streets, city hall, schools, Washington, D.C., etc. and let those in charge know how they felt. So, if you want change, do as they did – but please be peaceful about it.
And don't be afraid to let the people you love and respect know how you feel about them. Expressing words of kindness to others is helpful in several ways and it can become contagious.
You will find that having grown up in these small communities is special. Even if you plan to move away, stay or come back, change is going to happen. But don't be afraid to speak out about a change if you think your idea is something someone should hear.
Good luck and be safe.