Dr. Shambaeh Abantas-Usman, Guest Speaker of the CMU Senior High School 2nd Commencement Exercises, urged the 847 graduates to advocate peace and establish Unity in Diversity during her commencement address held at the University Convention Center, June 2.
Dr. Usman remarked that if we wanted peace and prosperity, then we need to establish unity in diversity. The guiding principles of ASEAN motto “One vision, one identity and one community” and the country’s motto, “Maka-Diyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa calls for unity in diversity in the region and beyond.
This years’ Commencement Exercises theme is “Unity in Diversity towards Excellence and Relevance in the ASEAN Region and beyond.”
Conveying her gratitude to CMU, Dr. Usman started her talk with the excitement of being part of the University Senior High School momentous event, the graduation day.
As she reminisced her high school days, she shared her memorable experiences as the battalion commander in their batch, Talumpati champion, and among others. “After graduation life will never be the same again, you will be exposed to a bigger environment, bigger challenges and opportunities, bigger groups of people, and bigger responsibilities,” Dr. Usman added.
She reminded the graduates that whatever journey they will tackle, relationship and co-existence is more important than a degree, wealth, position, and socio-economic status.
Dr. Usman, who is the Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of the Division of Bukidnon, highlighted that the graduates of Senior High School are equipped with the 21st century skills– Information Media and Technology Skills, Learning and Innovation Skills, Effective Communication Skills, and Life and Career Skills.
As an advocate for peace, Dr. Usman was awarded as the Ambassador for Peace given by Universal Peace Federation during the Global Peace Festival in Cagayan de Oro City.
She also attended several local and international engagement, which led her to be more passionate in advocating peace and strengthen her leadership skills as a coordinator/focal person in various organizations.
To achieve peace, Dr. Usman reiterated that the first thing to do is to understand the meaning of unity in diversity. “Unity in Diversity is a concept of unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.”
Unity in Diversity is linked to the country’s peace and prosperity. She challenged the graduates to be an advocate for peace and deliver excellence through the k-12 program of the Department of Education.
Meanwhile, Dr. Usman mentioned a concrete example of diversity, “Come to think of it, no two persons in one family are the same, even twins, even husband, and wife have different likes and dislikes, and decision-making. They could not achieve unity if they wanted to be the same in their actions.”
In the face of individual differences, people should set a common goal to achieve for the benefit of everyone and to be united. According to her, the prerequisite of unity is the virtue of respect to one another, “I respect you, and you respect me, no respect equals no unity.”
Additionally, Dr. Usman imposed the challenge of achieving Unity in Diversity. “The challenge is…we need to stand as united human beings. We need to stand as one family of humanity. We need to revive the live and let live policy.” She added that unity should begin within oneself. This is the responsibility of everyone.
Dr. Usman ended her speech by giving meaning to the word GRADE. G stands for Gratitude (Be thankful to your parents), R for Responsible (Take one at a time), A for Attitude (Values is very important), D for Decision (Decide now!), and E for Enjoy (Enjoy the moment. Enjoy your Life. Take your time).
The 847 graduates consist of the 90 Accountancy, Business, and Management (ABM) strand; 148 Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) strand; 459 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand; and 150 Technology, Vocational, and Livelihood (TVL) strand. (MJLTalisay)