3rd grade dropout speech

Graduation season is among us. Most of us can’t remember much about our commencement speaker, but graduates of California State University Maritime Academy will never forget Dr. Rick Rigsby addressed them.

While so many of these students were about to receive their diploma, Rigsby explained that the wisest man he ever knew was a third-grade dropout. That man was his father. Rigsby has four college diplomas and his brother is a judge. Neither of them is as smart as their father was, despite the fact that he dropped out of school in the third-grade.

Rigsby’s dad was a ship’s cook. Like many men of that era, he left school behind to help his parents support the family. But, this “simple cook” never stopped learning. He taught himself to read and write. In the era of Jim Crow, this black man never looked for excuses or pity. He pushed forward to be the best man he could be as he wanted to be a tremendous example for his sons.

“My father decided he was going to be a man—not a black man, not a brown man, not a white man—but a man,” Rigsby recalled. “He literally challenged himself to be the best that he could all the days of his life.”

Dr. Rigsby shared a story about how he hit rock bottom when his wife died, leaving him as a widow to care for their two sons. But, his father’s advice carried him through that despair.

Having a diploma doesn’t make you smart. Rigsby’s father proved that. It was an interesting message to give to people moments before they received theirs. But, it’s an important message. That diploma doesn’t make them any better than anyone else!

You will love the inspiring message in the video below!

Share this to inspire others to work hard in the face of adversity. 

Source: Faith Wire

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