Cohn: Don't let discouragement keep you down - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Cohn: Don't let discouragement keep you down

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Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2014 4:30 pm

Yeah, Yeah I know. You only have to listen to one more nerd talk before you get to graduate and go celebrate, so I'll try and make this tolerable for everyone. Unfortunately they told me I can't just stand up here and tell jokes, so here goes nothing.

So I'm supposed to say some inspirational quote here but I know you guys are tired of hearing these "tenacity this, life is a marathon that, nothing to fear but fear itself blah, blah, blah" so I'll tell you guys a real inspirational quote that someone actually said to me and that I didn't find by typing "inspirational quote" into Google. In 8th grade I was cut from the baseball team and this is what Coach White told me: "Baseball is a game about power, and you just don't have enough power. You'll never make it as a baseball player in high school, just give up." Now I don't know if Coach White is here or not but if he is, I'd like to say thank you for inspiring me to work hard and not give up baseball. I just thought that playing varsity baseball sounded more fun than quitting because of what one man told me.

What Coach White told me is much more inspirational than anything I could have found on the internet. This is probably sounding like a cliché "never give up your dreams" speech, but that's the best advice I can give to you all as you go out to pursue your dreams. Throughout your life people are going to tell you that you can't do something. You have to decide what you do with this discouragement.

You get to decide whether you'll give up because they told you to do, or you can do what I did and use the discouraging words as inspiration to prove them wrong. Just remember, if I can go from "never going to get to play in high school" to the starting left fielder my senior year, anything is possible.

I'm also supposed to thank a teacher during this speech so the first teacher that came to my mind was the most inspirational teacher I've ever had in all my years of schooling. If you have never had the opportunity to be in any of Mrs. Grace's classes or talk to her one-on-one, you missed out. Mrs. Grace Single handedly influenced me to pursue my education in the field of engineering. Having a teacher for four years truly allows you to bond with them on a personal level. Thank you for everything Mrs. Grace, you'll be missed.

I also want to thank all my other teachers who were able to make my high school experience a memorable one. My parents, thank you guys so much for sticking with me through baseball and school, you guys are the best. I'd like to also thank my teammates. I know our season didn't end the way we would have liked, but we had a great year and I'm glad I got to know you all. I want to thank all my friends who were able to make high school fun. And while I'm throwing out thank yous, shout out to Spark Notes for always being there for me when I was in need. I want to wish all of you a successful future wherever you all end up going. Those of you going out of state, congratulations. If you're going to U of A ... good luck ... you'll need it. And if you're going to ASU, go Devils. No matter where you go, we'll all always be Jaguars. Thank you and congratulations. Best of luck to you all in the future.

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