I’ve seen quite a few of these in the recent past, but school doesn’t let out until June in my area, so I thought I would wait till now. The following is my address to this year’s High School and College graduating classes.
I’d like to congratulate you all today. You have finished the really hard part, the part where your choices were made for you, where you really had no freedom. I know many people will tell you that you will eventually look back at the last few years as the best days of your life. I think that’s utter crap! The best day of your life is tomorrow.
Tomorrow holds the promise that everything you have ever experienced, through today, has meaning and purpose. Tomorrow is never ending. Tomorrow, the world is yours.
But having the world comes with some conditions. You’ve seen the generations that have come before you destroy what was given to them. You see that there are generations after you who are looking to see how you will handle the responsibility. Here are some tips to make sure that someday, you can give a better place to those waiting in the shadows.
1. Learn something new every day. Once you stop learning, you limit your potential.
2. Say something positive to someone different every day. It’s easy to say nice things to your friends and loved ones. Being a friend is enough for them. For everyone else, you have to make an effort.
3. Every day is a clean slate. Never carry any anger, resentment, hostility, or grudges into the new day. Very few things are really that important, but having a good life certainly is.
4. Only apologize to strangers. Your friends don’t need it, your enemies won’t believe it, but strangers haven’t yet made up their mind.
5. Find the “right thing” to do, and do it. Do it again.
6. Save money when you can. Spend money when you have to.
7. Sleep in late no more than once a week. Enjoy the opportunities to do so.
8. Wake up early whenever you are able to. Enjoy the quiet. Don’t do anything during this time until you have to.
9. Make at least one person laugh every day. Start with the easy ones, but work your way up to the most miserable person you know.
10. Never settle. Never give in. Never give up. Never think that “good enough” is.
One last thing. Don’t repeat the mistakes we have made. In many cases, there is no, one, right answer. Listen to other opinions, and make the decision that is right for you, but don’t assume that your right answer has to be someone else’s.
Congratulations to the class of 2007!