Ten on Tuesday, the commencement edition.

Wow, this week Carole has given us a topic that, for me at least, demands some serious thought. Here goes.

Ten Things I Would Say If I Gave A Commencement Address. Ten on Tuesday

  1. Although you will receive lots of congratulations and attaboys for graduating from high school, remember this: in today's society a high school diploma is pretty much a given. It's what you do in the next five years that will (probably) determine how you can live the rest of your life. Get some more education in a, whatever interests you that also, 2, will help you be employable. If your interest is ancient Greek mythology, you may want to keep that in reserve as a hobby and find something else as your first career. Or not. (See #5, below.)

  2. Be kind. Kindness is the thing that keeps us from savagery. It helps others and it makes everyone happier. 

  3. Give back to your community, your country, and the world. Remember that you had the extreme good fortune to be born in one of the most privileged nations on earth. Even if you qualified for free lunch at school for 12+ years and your clothes were hand-me-down Goodwill specials and you don't have a computer or even a telephone at home, you are still (probably) in the elite 1% worldwide.

  4. Be kind. Giving others the respect they deserve will make you a better person. It will also make you happier yourself.

  5. Experiment: dye your hair blue, sign up to work on a tramp steamer, listen to South African music, read the Koran, attend a synagogue, learn to tap dance. Do things that challenge your boundaries. But at the same time, think about the risks of your choices. If the risk is that someone will think you are weird, do it anyway; if the risk is that you will die, find something else. Despite what your hormones are telling you, you are not immortal nor indestructible nor invincible. 

  6. Be kind, if so no other reason that it will set you head and shoulders above a lot of other people you will meet.

  7. Forget multitasking. Research has shown it doesn't work. Focus on the task at hand, whether it is washing the dishes or driving your friend's new car. Your results will be better, you will enjoy the task more, and you are learning the practice of mindfulness.

  8. Be kind. To friends, waitresses, animals, the smelly person sitting next to you on the bus who seems to have forgotten that picking his nose is not acceptable behavior in public. You have no way of knowing what burdens others may be carrying.

  9. Life may not be fair, or it may not be fair to you at any particular moment. No matter what your parents told you,you are not a special little snowflake. Even if you got straight As in high school and/or were the homecoming queen and/or president of the student council, you will still have to work hard to get whatever you want. I was a National Merit Finalist but it still took me seven years to get through college.

  10. Be kind. Learn to be kind. Watch how other people treat each other and learn by example. You will be a happier person for it.

  11. Bonus: enjoy yourself and laugh often!


You may notice my emphasis on being kind. I cribbed that from here. I think it resonated with me because I can remember times when I was not kind, and I still regret them.

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0 Responses to Ten on Tuesday, the commencement edition.

  1. Bonny says:

    Wow. Your list and Saunders’ speech have started my day off right. I’m really trying (yet struggling and failing badly) to be kind to someone that has caused a great deal of pain to others. I will remember your emphasis on kindness during my endeavors.
    P.S. I’ve never read anything Saunders has written but I’m going to remedy that soon. Thanks!

  2. Carole says:

    Your list is wonderful. I particularly love the emphasis on being kind – I think that advice will get someone further than any other advice they might get. And also the life is not always fair bit. It’s a bummer but it’s true and best to figure that out early. Great job!

  3. Kwizgiver says:

    #9 is amazing!

  4. kathy b says:

    Be kind. LOVE It. So simple so true

  5. Paula says:

    I absolutely love your list. Especially the part about “you are not a snowflake”. And being kind is the greatest lesson of all! It will get you through the Life is Not Fair stage!!

  6. Vicki says:

    The world could certainly do with a lot more kindness… so I think that you are right on with your advice, lady!

  7. Linda says:

    This is perfection! Loved reading each and every one of your list of 10!! The “be kind” sticks with me…..
    Linda in VA

  8. kathy b says:

    Kindness is very important! LOVe your KIND thoughts

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