Congratulations. You made it! Back in 1969, I foolishly thought "Commencement" meant the end! But it means "The Beginning." So now you begin. Begin what though? Your walk in life, your mark on the world, your opportunity to make a difference, your chance to right a wrong or two. Just like starting a board game, you, as a 2013 Graduate, get to put yourself in the starting position. And for that, Congratulations. I sincerely hope you're ready, because, ready or not--here comes life! If I may help, here are a few things I've learned along the way that may help you.
Be generous. With your time, your money, your friendship, your willingness to help others and your unconditional love for people. It will pay dividends you can't even imagine.
Be kind--ALWAYS. Go the extra mile. Help someone out that has absolutely no way of repaying you. People will notice your kindness before anything else.
Remember all that stands between you and the top of the ladder is the ladder. Start climbing.
Find something worthwhile you are passionate about and then be persistent about it. Don't worry too much about failure. Remember Yogi Berra's advice, "it ain't over till it's over."
Memorize these magic words; I'm sorry; Please forgive me; May I help; Please; Thank-you; Have a great day.
Family is everything. Friends come and go; Relationships change, but family Don't forget to CELEBRATE. Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving and all the other special days. Life should always be a celebration-of something!!
Smile! Some people will so appreciate your smile and others will wonder what you've been up to. Either way, smiling is a good thing.
Life is not all about money, but it is important. Save 10%, Give to charity 10%, and live off the other 80%. You will retire rich-in so many ways!
This is a big one: LIFE IS NOT FAIR! Get used to this and accept it. No whining, making excuses or blaming others.
Somewhere along the path of life, you will meet head on, struggles, pain, sorrow and hurt. No one is exempt. Surround yourself with loving people. You will need them.
When you are in a situation dealing with a moral decision--go with your heart. It will never lie to you. If that fails--call Mom!
And finally, no one really cares whether you can dance or not--BUT DANCE ANYWAY.
So Congratulations to all the 2013 Graduates. You are the future. You are our hope. We hand it over to you. Make good use of it. Remember, the day you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world will cry and you will rejoice. And as the good book reminds us, "Love Never Fails."
Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 319-327-4640.