to all of our 2022 graduates!
The Akan people of Ghana use adinkra symbols to represent wisdom, teach values, and share guidance about life. There are a few symbols I would like to share with you to learn about and keep in mind as you begin this next phase of your lives. Adinkra symbols are appropriate for all ages, but especially significant for high school graduates heading to careers and colleges. Below are three of my favorites to share.
Mate masie (MAH-tay MAH-see-ay) -- "I heard it and I kept it." Meaning you did not let it "go in one ear and out the other." Observe, listen, and learn. Stay true to the values that your parents taught you. Recognize distractions, particularly non-constructive ones and don't get sidetracked by them. Listervelt Middleton, a well-known journalist, historian, writer wrote:
"...So sharpen your eyes
And tune your ears
So you know what you see and
Understand what you hear..."
Hwemudua - "measuring stick"
This represents striving for the best quality in what you do. My mother used to say that if you want to compare yourself to others or to a standard, compare yourself to the best and work to get there.
Nea onnim no sua a, ohu - "He who does not know can know from learning"
This is a symbol of knowledge, life-long education and the continued pursuit of knowledge. Learning never stops as you are living. Whether you are in college or on a job, be open to learning something every day and then share some of it with someone else.
And to all our students and families who completed another year during a most-unexpected pandemic and all that has come with that…. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU FOR MAKING IT THROUGH!