Thanks to Stephany Tullis for the introduction. You can read her blog here http://www.stephanytullis.com/blog, and check out her books here http://www.amazon.com/Stephany-Tullis/e/B00D3P052W/
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This week’s question: If you were asked to give a commencement address for college graduates, what would you say?
First of all this question was lost in translation, as I’m a Brit. Thanks to Patti Fiala for explaining! She also informed me that the age of the students would be 21+, and so below is my speech giving advice to young men and women just about to leave college. I have decided to base it on a modern version of ‘Desiderata’.
“I stand here this evening and look out at a sea of young, excited faces just starting out on the big adventure of life. You all have hopes and dreams for the future and no doubt cannot wait to throw yourselves wholeheartedly into your quest for fame and fortune. However, perhaps pause just for a moment, and allow me, a veteran of nearly 60 summers, to help you a little bit along life’s path, with advice learned from my own experiences:
1. Turn off the TV, the radio, the MP3 player, the iPhone, the iPad, the iPlayer, the iEverythingelse once in a while, and listen to that silence surrounding you. In that quietness your fertile imaginations will be able to run wild. There is no limit to what you can achieve without the hindrance of noise and distractions.
2. Love your neighbour as yourself. For instance, if you would not like your iPhone stolen, then refrain from stealing somebody else’s. In this way you will make friends wherever you go. You may even find your soul mate!
3. Jealousy will get you nowhere. Enjoy the thrill of climbing the corporate ladder slowly and carefully, learning as you go. Remember that there will always be somebody higher up the ladder than yourself, especially if they happen to be the boss’s son or daughter. These fortunate individuals can reach the top rung without passing anybody on the ascent. There’s nothing you can do about it, but just be glad that you are able to climb the ladder in the first place. When you reach the higher echelons you can celebrate and revel in the fact that you got there through your own efforts.
4. You may discover corruption in your climb to the top. Stay true to yourself and do whatever you think is best at the time to deal with the problem. In this way you will be able to sleep better at night because your conscience will be clear.
5. When you find that special person who is to be your life partner, cherish them and treat them with love and respect. Build on your relationship and do not be disheartened if along the way you experience bad times. Love will win through in the end, and triumphing over pitfalls can only serve to make your relationship stronger. Enjoy your children, because they will only be yours for a short time. Before you know it they will be grown and you will find that you have become ‘the older generation’.
6. As you turn from young people into middle-agers, do not be frightened of growing older. Keep your body healthy by exercising and eating good food, and your fifty-something body will repay you, just as long as you keep the weight off and say no to the junk food!
7. Live a good and happy life, treat your body well, and love those close to you. Along with your God (if you are religious), your family who love you can offer untold support in your darkest hour.
I’ll stop rabbiting on now, but I’ll leave you with two words that can help you no end if you are in any doubt about participating in any of the dubious pleasures that this life can offer………………