If you were fortunate enough to graduate college, it is likely you heard a commencement speech. Well, let me clarify that: it is likely you sat through a commencement speech. You may not have listened at all! The speech probably didn’t resonate with brilliance at the time. I suspect you were just so happy to be done with school and couldn’t wait to get out of the cap and gown to go celebrate. Times were good. Sure, they were scary, too, but scary in a good adrenalin-flowing way.
Well, now that times may not be all that good and truly scary, I suggest you recall the pearls of wisdom from your graduation commencement ceremony for a little lift of spirit.
One speech I especially like is from Larry Lucchino, President and CEO of the Boston Red Sox at Boston University, May 18, 2008. Here is the much abbreviated version that should be a good short diversion:
“Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the argument that life is serious, though it is often hard and even terrible. And saying that, I am prompted to add what follows out of it: that since everything ends badly for us, in the inescapable catastrophe of death, it seems obvious that the first rule of life is to have a good time and that the second rule of life is to hurt as few people as possible. There is no third rule.” This was written by Brendan Gill, a writer and critic for The New Yorker magazine, as encouragement for the young.
· Be bold, be prudent but take risks.
· Smile, laugh and be pleasant.
· Be strong enough to say “I don’t know” but be smart enough to add “but I’ll find out”.
· Find time for family and friends.
· Always remember the affect you have on others – good and bad. [Let this be the barometer of all you do.]
· Seek justice with dignity.
· Embrace and celebrate our differences.
· Seek balance – A rich life is a balanced life.
· Help some people along the way. [This is a big one but can be practiced in the smallest way.]