A graduation poem (with apologies to Dr. Seuss.) | On Faith

A graduation poem (with apologies to Dr. Seuss.) | On Faith

A column written by Greg Asimakoupoulos.

  • Wednesday, June 5, 2019 7:36am
  • Opinion

When I first arrived on Mercer Island 14 years ago, I was invited by the local clergy association to give the sermon at the community Thanksgiving service. Since poetry is so much a part of my life and ministry, I chose to write my homily in rhyme. With inspiration from Dr. Seuss I titled my thoughts “Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Thanksgiving.” People are still commenting about that all these years later.

As I contemplated what message I might offer to our local graduates, another poem seemed to be what the doctor ordered. So, with apologies to Dr. Seuss, here is my version of “Oh the Places You Will Go”:

Oh, the Places You Will Go

(A graduation poem with apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

By the Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos

The world’s your oyster. The world’s your stage.

Your time has come. You’ve reached the age.

The Lord will guide you. So, trust his plans.

Just say, “Your wish is my command.”

Look in your heart. What brings delight?

Embrace your gift. Turn on the light.

God made you just the way you are.

So go with that and you’ll go far.

But far begins with one small step.

So lace your shoes and then expect

to run your race at your own speed.

Don’t fret about who’s in the lead.

This thing called life’s a marathon.

It’s not a sprint. So, carry on!

Along the way, you’ll trip and fall.

You’ll bruise your knees and that’s not all.

Your pride will smart, but that’s okay.

That’s how you learn to make your way.

So, each new day look in the mirror.

Confront yourself and what you fear.

Look deep inside at what you see.

Reflect on who you long to be.

Don’t overlook what you don’t like.

Tell bents you hate to take a hike.

Be honest with the one you face

embracing God’s amazing grace.

It covers all you dare confess

and undermines perfection’s stress.

Be sure to give yourself a smile.

It’s good to celebrate each mile.

Along the path that you will go,

who cares if you go fast or slow.

The speed that marks your upward climb

means not so much so never mind.

The trek you take is most unique

So, too, the plans you aim to seek.

Dream big. Imagine. Go for broke.

While some may laugh, it is no joke.

Remind yourself God’s in control

and He will help you reach your goals.

You will achieve more than you know.

The many places you will go

cannot be seen from where you sit.

You have to move out bit by bit.

Make every day your chance to start

to live your dream and own your part

in what the good Lord longs to bless

including you and your success.

What matters most is making time

to pace yourself and read the signs

of where to go and what to do.

The future does depend on you.

Greg Asimakoupoulos is the chaplain at Covenant Shores Retirement Community.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.
Calendars help us to number our days | Guest column

It wasn’t until I was out of seminary and serving my first… Continue reading

Email editor@mi-reporter.com
Even more Mercer Island candidate letters | Election 2021

Editor’s note: Due to the volume of letters endorsing Mercer Island candidates… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
A look at city council races around the region | Roegner

Hot contests in Mercer Island and Bellevue.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Our economy works when consumers pick winners | Brunell

Poland and America are like two trains passing each other in opposite… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Big-time politics: Redistricting for 2022 elections | Roegner

Based on new census data, which shows Washington state has grown by… Continue reading

Email editor@mi-reporter.com
Mercer Island candidate letters | Election 2021

Editor’s note: Due to the volume of letters endorsing Mercer Island candidates… Continue reading

A photo of Greg Asimakoupoulos' father in law.
A tale of two Hughs | Guest column

This week marks the 90th anniversary of an event that put my… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: Arezo’s journey to America | Guest column

In our little Zoom room, I hear my interviewee break into sobs.… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Can a Texas-style abortion law happen in Washington? | Roegner

If politicians really want to anger women voters, the easiest way is… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Reasons to ban Gov. Jay Inslee’s natural gas ban | Brunell

Column: Switching from natural gas to electricity is complicated and will impact everyone.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Vaccinations improve our health and employment numbers | Brunell

It is not surprising that COVID-19, which ravaged the world, was disastrous… Continue reading