To the class of 2012, this is your mission should you choose to accept it:
Today more than 20 percent of Americans live in poverty. More than 1 billion people around the world live on less than $1 a day. Today, 22,000 children will die from completely preventable causes, dying quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world.
The extraordinary thing about our generation is that pleading ignorance to the problems of the world is no longer admissible in the court of human history. Technology, our global connectivity and our interdependency have made us liable. Future generations will judge us based upon our reaction to this moment.
We are truly the first generation in history who has the capability and technology to forever change the world. This is our charge to keep.
Our nation has been the greatest force for good the world has ever known. We are a shining city on a hill, and the world looks to us for leadership. Millions around the globe suffer in tyranny and oppression while yearning for the freedom we represent. There is no greater enemy of evil than free people. Stand for freedom, as you are the new watchmen of ours.
I understand that many of you ask why me, why us and why America? The only answer I have is that providence has placed us in this moment in history; this place in time and the task is simply ours to do.
Some of you will leave and serve our armed forces around the world, some will stay and become the farmers that feed the world, the doctors that heal the world, and some will become the entrepreneurs and small business owners that create prosperity in our world. Remember, in whatever you do you are apart of something greater than yourselves. No matter what parts of the world you find yourself strive be an agent of change and a force for good.
The foundation of our nation has been and will always be moms and dads, strong families and strong communities. Your No. 1 priority should always be the strength of your family. Furthermore, return the investment that a community invested in you.
Know that you will face struggles and challenges along the way, but also know that there is a God in heaven who knew how many hairs were on your head before you were even born, and that same God loves you and has a distinct and special plan for your life. He knows your name and desires to have a real and personal relationship with you.
Always remember that no matter what path you walk, you will never walk alone.
James Freed is village manager for Lakeview and city manager for Stanton.
The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Daily News.