With all of the commencements exercises going on this time of year, I stopped and began to wonder what would I say to a class of graduates. Actually, I have had the opportunity once and spoke for less than five minutes. The speech took weeks to write.
I know how important the presentations and encouragement to graduates can be. You see, I graduated in the bottom third of my high school class and received honors in college. I have earned two master's degree. One took the normal, 4 semesters. One took, 21 years from first class to graduation. I lived and learned over the last half century plus. So I think I could share a little of what I have learned with others.
But my thoughts this year turn to the chance that I have to write something witty on a graduation card. I have been invited to graduations from high school and colleges for associates degrees, bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees. Some of these folks are family, some are close friends, some acquaintances.
The following lines are not original. As a wise man once said, "there is nothing new under the sun." But these lines do possess much truth.
- If you have a pulse you have a purpose.
- Television sitcoms are not real life. Even reality shows are not real life.
- Don't pass up a job you love because of the money.
- Getting fired is not the end of the world. It may be one of the best things that could happen to you.
- Learn from the past, but don't dwell on it.
- The world doesn't owe you anything.
- You can't do life by yourself. Find a good team and work together.
- Don't think of yourself better than anyone else.
- Be humble. Either you can start that way or life will make you feel that way.
- Serving others make you a great leader.
- There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
- Tuition cost money but an education is priceless.
- Be proactive not reactive.
- keep your priorities straight.
- When you find yourself walking through hell – keep walking.
- Don't put limits on yourself.
- Education doesn't always come in a classroom.
- Take time to be with the ones you love.
- Communication is the key to everything.
- The grass is not always greener on the other side. It rarely is.
- When you work – work. When you play – play. Don't confuse the two.
- Behold the turtle; he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.
- You have 2 ears and 1 tongue. Do twice as much listening as you do talking.
- Spend quiet time alone each day.
- Find someone you can be completely honest with and will hold you accountable.
- Save a little money out of each paycheck.
- When you need to, seek wise counsel.
- Look for a job you like. Life is too short to work at something you hate.
- The person who walks with God always gets to their destination.
If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of graduates this month, congratulations!