Coming of age in this dangerous world is a dauntingly difficult thing.
How will you live up to the promise of what the future will bring?
You've shown by example that God has a plan
for helping this old boy become a young man.
We encourage you, Ben, to accept every challenge
with stength and conviction, with patience and balance.
Be truthful, be gentle and always forgive.
Through compassion you learn how to live and let live.
Take to adventure with your eyes open wide
To steady the journey, travel often inside.
Seek poetry, passion, beauty and art.
Keep magic and wonder tucked close to your heart.
Celebrate failure with just one more try.
Be mindful of the riches that money can't buy.
Be grateful for wealth, but know what's at stake.
And give back to the earth, always, more than you take.
Plant gardens, feed pidgeons, walk softly through snow.
When you nurture all life, you help yourself grow.
Be childlike, laugh often, and share every joy.
Honor the man, remember the boy.
Cry at sad movies and when you feel grief.
Tears are the heart's way of bringing relief.
Learn from your pain, it will help make you wise.
Above all, remember that love never dies.
Then, at the end, as you walk your last mile,
Looking back on your life with a well-deserved smile,
Recall all the faces that helped light the way.
Give thanks for their love and remember this day.