In honor of the gradates of 2020, LKM founder Michelle Horton has taken it upon herself to write a commencement speech in their honor.
As a former high school dropout turned college graduate & first-time business owner, it is her hope that this will inspire our graduates to reach for the stars!
I would like to begin this commencement speech by saying that “I look back on my life with absolute wonder!!!”
These words are in quotation marks because they do not come from me personally. They are actually the opening statement from my grandfather’s eulogy, which he wrote himself long before he passed. One could argue that this act deviates from the norm. Traditionally, a eulogy is written by someone else & after the point of departure too! But not with Grandpa Horton. This man was a poet & forward-thinker. He knew that one’s life story is best told from the eye of the beholder.
One would think that a writing of this sort would bring about feelings of sadness...it is afterall, a eulogy. But I assure you, it does not! Much to the contrary, this masterpiece is my most valued possession. I make a concerted effort to catch a glimpse of it each & every day. It evokes feelings of warmth & comfort because although he is no longer with us in physical form, his feelings for us are explicitly stated on paper. They’re undeniable & also a good point of reference for those difficult days when we miss him. Grandpa Horton loved us & he loved us dearly.
Now, you’re probably wondering, “Is this chick really talking about a EULOGY in a COMMENCEMENT speech?!?!” And my answer is a resounding “YES!!!” Bear with me…
One of the reasons my grandfather’s eulogy is my most valued possession is because it poses the question, “What would I say if I were to write my own eulogy???” A daunting question because it brings forth all kinds of emotions and regretfully, the thought of our own mortality. So again & without a doubt, a daunting question!!! ...but likewise, a very important one too!
Since the day this document has been magnetically bound to my fridge, it has also illuminated a series of other questions:
What would I say to the people I love?
What do I want them to know about me & the way I feel?
Who will I leave out?
Do I need to make amends with these people?
What will I say about my life?
Have I made good use of my time on Earth?
In what ways did I serve & help others?
What accomplishments will I mention?
What lessons have I learned?
Do I have any words of wisdom that might be useful to others?
And most importantly, what kind of legacy will I leave?
With graduation now at your doorstep, you are at a pivotal moment in time. You are a flicker of light away from leaving behind one chapter in life, to enter the next. But truth be told, every day contains a new page. A fresh start. A day to begin anew. And so in addition to congratulating you on your special day, I pose the difficult but worthwhile question:
What story will you write for yourself?
My name is Michelle, and I am not a farmer. I have never run a farmers market before and apparently that is, understandably, problematic for some. I am ok with that & I respect people for speaking their truth.
What I am, is a lover of life, people, food, health, wellness, fitness, nature, art, innovation, diversity, tolerance, community, peanut butter, Kailua, Hawai’i, and the world at large.
I believe in the stars, and that we are all connected. I believe that we each have a gift & a kuleana to share our gifts in a positive way to uplift others.
My primary objective behind this new chapter in life, is to serve as a voice and leader for people who like me, want to celebrate life & leave this place better than they found it for future generations.
It is my hope that the Lōkahi Kailua Market will bring people together. People who want to, in essence, plant the seeds so we can grow a better tomorrow....
07.30.19 Big mahalo to the awesome staff at Kailua Print Shop. Our banner turned out awesome! :)
Lōkahi Kailua Market LLC
354 Uluniu St. #301, Kailua, HI 96734
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