What could I say to them that would be meaningful? What message could I give them that would carry them through the struggles that they face? Here is what I said:
"Members of the board; President Phillips; faculty; family; friends; and last, but far from least, graduates...
"This is the second time that I have attended a graduation from this school. The first was December 17, 1988, and I remember it well. I was at that graduation as a proud parent, like so many that I see before me today. I watched as my son received the congratulatory handshake from the president and the diploma he had worked so hard for.
"He walked off that stage as a proud graduate and a new chiropractor. He was excited in spite of all the 'gloom and doom' that he had heard from the soothsayers within the profession that were saying that there was no way that a new graduate could be successful. They stated that with chiropractic not being accepted by the public, and with the weight of student loans, there was no way a new graduate could succeed.
"Well, my son did not listen to the 'Chicken Littles' of the world that kept spouting that the sky was falling only on chiropractors. He kept his mind and his focus on just one thing, that there is abundance and life on the other side of Amber Valley Drive (LACC's location in Whittier, California). That was about 14 years ago, but the 'Chicken Littles' of this profession are still around. They are still professing that you, the new graduates, will fail.
"Is there any wisdom in what they are saying? Would you have been better off going to work for a Fortune 500 company instead of spending another four years in school and going into debt? In 2001, Fortune 500 companies laid off over one million employees. I don't know of any chiropractors that were laid off last year or this year.
"Those same 'gloom-and-doomers' feel that the population is saturated with chiropractors. I think that their statistics are a little off when you consider the fact that only 10 percent of the population receives chiropractic care. I can't think of any other profession today that can say that. That means that you are graduating into a profession where 90 percent of the population is out there waiting for you to open your office!
"All you need to do is go out and educate the public in three areas: what chiropractic is; what it can do for them; and who you are. Those are the three tasks that you now face. I now charge you to go out and adjust people in the way that they view chiropractic, adjust their understanding of what chiropractic can do for them, and also, adjust them!
"The long-term outlook for chiropractic is fantastic. Chiropractors should be the leaders for health care and a holistic approach to life, well into the next century. Based on that, I am sure that B. J. Palmer is smiling as he looks down on this graduation today. You graduate at a time when chiropractic is coming into its golden age.
"I also charge you to change chiropractic and make it a 'team' sport. Presently chiropractic is like golf. Everyone is playing against everyone else. Based on that analogy, Tiger Woods would make a great chiropractor, and Michael Jordan would not. It is time for you to change this, for your future and for the future of all the graduates who will follow you.
"Your potential is only limited by the limits that you put on it and yourself. You can generate all of the wealth and happiness that you will ever need or want. Each of you has discovered your divinity and unique talent. Now it is time to serve humanity with it. According to Deepak Chopra, 'When your creative expression matches the needs of your fellow humans, then wealth will follow.' You can manifest anything you want. The world needs chiropractic!
"My son did this very thing after he received his diploma. He educated the public about the benefits of chiropractic and what chiropractic could do for them. He built an extremely successful practice and is happy. He found that there was life and happiness on the other side of Amber Valley Drive. Now it is your turn."
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Tel: (800) 585-1555
Fax: (904) 247-1266
Click here for previous articles by Stanley Greenfield, RHU.