Let's face it -- graduation ceremonies can be long, drawn-out, boring, sweaty affairs in which cap-and-gown clad adolescents or young adults and their family members squat on uncomfortable folding chairs in stuffy fieldhouses or under the hot, scorching sun for hours, listening to fairly mundane speechifying and a long list of names before having their ten seconds in the spotlight, during which they hope and pray that they (or their loved ones) don't do something mortifying like stumbling across the stage (graduates) or blowing an airhorn or ringing cowbells (family members) simply because the student actually managed to graduate from high school (or college). Yo, really??? You don't need to do The Wave because your baby got his or her diploma. It's not that much of an achievement in 2012.
One of those people who peaked in high school...
Part of the problem is the commencement address. Most are trite, repetitive and not written in especially soaring language that transcends space and time. (And I admit, neither is this blog -- but that's entirely beside the point.) What if commencement addresses could be distilled to their essence so that we got the message without all the repetitious medium, saving us hours of our precious lives and sweat?
Sea of sweating graduates
They might sound something like this:
"Find your passion. Believe in yourself. Do not let others define who you are. Have big dreams. Follow your heart and your intuition. Take action and get in the game. Do what you love. Be bold and courageous. Use your imagination and creativity. You do not need to be perfect. It's okay to fail. Do not give up. Live in the present moment. Think that you can do it. Take risks. Embrace change. Work hard, play hard and keep walking the path. Maintain your integrity. Give back. Keep learning."
There you go. All the wisdom of the world packed into two minutes or less (depending on how fast you talk)! Leaving the extended family much more time to sit around the kitchen or patio, arguing about politics, religion or whether the viewers who actually vote for "American Idol" contestants are biased in favor of WGWGs (white guys with guitars). Because it appears that some people actually care about such things. "American Idol," that is. And they presumbly graduated from high school. So 'nuff said about that achievement.
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