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.


More in Opinion

Clyde Ford speaks at Bellevue First United Methodist Church. One of the things he spoke about was how other countries have approached the topic of race and racism. Samantha Pak/staff photo
We need to, but how do we talk about race? | Windows and Mirrors

Racism is still an issue in this country. How can we have constructive conversations to move forward and heal?

Norman Rockwell exhibit at Covenant Living

Greg Asimakoupoulos displays magazine covers.

Teaching kindness and empathy in schools | LETTER

Kindness Matters initiative at MISD.

Letter to the Editor, Jan. 22, 2020

MIYFS Foundation Breakfast

United Methodist Church: To split or not to split | Windows and Mirrors

Local clergy from Eastside United Methodist Churches weigh in on the church’s future regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Prescription for a 2020 Vision | On Faith

A monthly column dealing in matters of faith.

Come for the conversation, stay for the friendships | Windows and Mirrors

Talk Time classes allow English language learners to practice their speaking and conversation skills.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Despite ruling on Public Records Act, we need to keep a close eye on Olympia

Washington Supreme Court upholds that state legislators are subject to the Public Records Act.

Helping neurodivergent students navigate higher education | Windows and Mirrors

The Neurodiversity Navigators program at Bellevue College offers various services to students who are on the autism spectrum.

When asked their opinion on contract talks, they were silent

A 2017 law lets lawmakers offer negotiation topics. But a bipartisan panel didn’t do so this week.

Changing systems doesn’t happen overnight | Windows and Mirrors

It’s been a year since the Menchie’s incident and here is what the city of Kirkland has been working on since then.

Discerning fact from opinion

It can be more difficult than people first think, according to the Pew Research Center.