My Graduation Advice….Sort Of

With schools having or planning their commencement exercises over
the next couple of weeks, graduates will be listening to speeches from esteemed
public figures.  Worcester Tech will have the honor of having President
Obama speaking at their graduation.  A moment that those students and
their families will treasure forever.
Every year at this time I think about the
Baz Luhrmann song “Wear Sunscreen”.
 The song is a commencement speech to the class of 1999 that was put to music.
 Rumor had it when it was originally released that it was a speech that
Kurt Vonnegut gave at Yale’s graduation.  The truth is that it was a column written
in June of 1997 by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich about how everyone
has inside them a little piece of them that would love to give a commencement
speech and what hers would be.
It’s been fifteen years since I first
heard Ms. Schmich’s words, and each time I hear them it amazes me how spot on
she was.  I won’t bore you with the whole speech as I attached links to
both the column and the song but her are some of the things I have taken from
her words.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what
you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know
at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting
40-year-olds I know still don’t
. – 
I like my job, I don’t love my job.
 That is probably why I do a million other things to see if I can find the
one thing I truly love.  Other than being a good husband and father.
 If my boss reads this, I love working for you.
Read the directions, even if you don’t
follow them.
– C’mon!!!! Who doesn’t do this?  At
what point in anyone’s lives do they just bite the bullet and just follow them
Get to know your parents. You never know
when they’ll be gone for good….
My parents live right behind me and there is not a day that I am
not grateful for that.  My parents have sacrificed a lot for me and my
family does not let them forget our gratitude.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices
will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do,
you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians
were noble and children respected their elders.
I have to admit, I never thought politicians were noble.
 Power is a crazy thing and makes people do wild things.  Now, with
regards to prices, it’s crazy.  The price of gas has gone up almost $2.00
a gallon in a little over a five years.  It has taken Regatta Deli on Lake
Ave. almost 30 years to raise the price of their famous grinder the same
amount.  Maybe we should put them in charge of the oil industry.
Don’t mess too much with your hair or by
the time you’re 40 it will look 85
 – For those of you that have met me, laugh
My advice to the class of 2014, since I will most likely never be asked to give a commencement speech, is to capture whatever words are said to you on your graduation day and continue to revisit them.  They may seem boring now, but they will speak volumes later.  Don’t use them as a guide but as a point of reference. Don’t use them as measuring stick but as a ladder to your goals.  As always, don’t forget the sunscreen.  It’s the best advice I ever received.

If you don’t take it from me, ask my wife.

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