Elaborating on the theme, “Igniting Dreams,” St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to New York, Rondy “Luta” McIntosh has urged graduating students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) to continue dreaming big.
“Igniting Dreams’ is meant to inspire you as you enter into this competitive world, where great men achieve great things because of big dreams,” said McIntosh in delivering the Commencement Address at BMCC on May 26. “How big is your dream? If your dream doesn’t scare you, wake up, go back to sleep and dream again.
“The term survival of the fittest is not meant to scare you but to prepare you, to awaken your consciousness that you must apply yourself in order to succeed,” he added. “Some people dream of winning the Lottery. Some dream of landing a six-figure job. Some dream of inheriting wealth from a rich family member. Some dream of marrying a rich man or woman and getting a big payout from a divorce. Some dream of using their intelligence and ingenuity to create something great. Some dream of living a simple life, with just enough to pay the bills and live a comfortable life.
“What is your dream and how is it aligned with reality?” the consul general asked the graduates. “I ask this not to scare you but to prepare you. Let me encourage you to start somewhere. It may not be the job you want, but it’s the opportunity at hand.
“Use it as a stepping stone, because, frankly, experience has taught me that, most times, we don’t truly know what we want,” he continued. “We go searching for what we think we want; and, when we finally get it and the novelty wears off, we no longer want it.”
McIntosh noted that many people are working and succeeding in areas that are not aligned with their field of study.
“Don’t be afraid to explore new horizons,” he urged, referring to the famous quote: “Choose a job or a business you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
“Gone are the days when our only competition were other humans,” he said. “Now you will be competing with Artificial Intelligence, which replaces intelligent humans with man-made artificially intelligent computers. You will be competing with machines and automated processes, which replace humans in the workplace.
“You will be competing with non-fungible tokens in the Metaverse,” he added. “It means that you will have to offer more than just your qualification in order to compete in today’s world.
“Life will stress you out, but let your attitude determine your altitude,” McIntosh continued. “I encourage you to soar like an eagle. The higher the eagle flies, the harder it is for the crow to breathe; and then, due to a lack of oxygen, the crow falls away and the eagle is free.
“You will encounter many crows along your life’s journey, remember to rise about the negatives and soar like an eagle,” he urged, warning the graduates about “the entitlement attitude.”
The consul general said many people believe that they are entitled to all the top positions and promotions, “simply because they possess a college degree.
“I ask that you let your hard or smart work, your good ethics, your dedication and achievement speak for you,” he said. “The world is eagerly awaiting change agents. Let your generation be the change mankind is so desperately waiting on.
“In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” McIntosh added. “Be of service to your family, be of service to your community, be of service to your country and be of service to mankind.”