3 minutes, 3 points

Good afternoon.  Congratulations to the graduating class, the parents, the school administration, the support staff and the teachers.  Congratulations for this big step forward into each of your lives.  Your heads are full of ideas, accomplishments, dreams, fears, maybe even a sip of champagne.  The past and the future. I'm a parent of three kids, two of which are in primary here at NMS and a third who still gets excited about riding his laufrad - I have a long way until my daughter is in this room.

What do I want her to understand?  Why am I here today?  I'm here representing the parent community and I only have three minutes to talk to you...

I want to talk about community.  3 points.

1) You are the Nelson Mandela Babies.  Many of you started together at the Einschulung, growing up together through all aspects of your life.  Friendship gives flavor to life. The best friendships require investment, compromise, and sacrifice. By creating shared alignment, trust, and companionship, strong friendships nourish the soul and make life more vibrant.

 -Take away - the shared context and background that you have built up with at least a small group of true friends over the past 10+ years has the potential to nourish you for the coming 50+ years.  Find those people, trust in them, bind them to your soul with hoops of steel.  Social media and email and phone are good - but we are humans and nothing replaces time and physical contact.  Find two days to spend with friends and carry them with you as part of your journey.  Nobody else will have the same shared long-term context to remind you, when you need it, of who you are, and who you can be.


 2) You are the 1%.

-Take away - change the world.  Produce and build, do not just consume and float.  You owe it to the global community to use the opportunity that some literally die to give to their children.  It's a heavy burden.  You have more tools and opportunities and distractions than ever before.  Your pathway to change your community may be as a climate activist, Youtuber, full-time parent, Nobel prize winner, billionaire, recovered alcoholic, diligent employee.

There has never been a time before in history when you had as much information or as many tools as you have now.

The continued long term health of our global community depends on the efforts of each of you, the 1%, the do your best to make our community better, in whichever way you think is right.  This is your mission and your burden and each of you is fully capable of making your contribution.

Graduation 3

3) You leave behind 1000 others.  Don't leave us behind.  Enrich us with your time, your ideas, your inspirations, your hopes, your mistakes.  Come back and be with us.  We send you out into the world so that those of us who are still at home can profit from our investment into you.

We consider you part of our community, now and into the future.  Be with us and work with us.


We're all dying a day at a time.  Use each moment towards your own personal goals, and be conscious of the need to use your time well, whatever that means for you.

For now, this is a moment of achievement, and we salute you for it!

Arun Sharma

Graduation 2

 Gallery from the day

Newly founded: 2nd International School Berlin

Wangari Maathai State International School

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16.06.2019 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin