I found this Gem while getting my docs organized better. My transcript for 2020 High School Graduates Commencement Speech back in June 2020 I think.
The YouTube video did pretty well. Here is the link to youtube.
The Graduation Speech every high schooler should hear.
Well, this is not the Graduation you thought you would have, is it?
This was weird.
2020. That will be remembered for sure. You are 18 probably. Which means you came into the world around the time of 9-11. A country attacked. Devastated. United & Rallying. But never the same. Never the same.
Flying. Never the same.
Communications. Never the same.
War. Never the same.
Now you graduate in another time of crisis. So much unknown ahead. So much taken away from you. It’s not fair.
And there’s a lesson for you. Fair. Life is not fair. Cancer is not fair. Death is not fair. Money is not fair. Relationships are not fair. Being fair is inherently unfair.
We don’t know what world lies ahead for you. A germophobic world that shuts down all the time?
A world that stops caring about disease because we’re fed up with it all?
No one knows.
You are entering a confusing time no doubt. Never before so polarized and so political. Your formative years took place in front of a screen. You live in an era of “ I’m right, Your wrong”. See my comments and shares. It means Im relevant.
You don’t know what happens next. Will schools open? I don’t know.
Ya know that could be a good thing. You see, we have a growing group of people begging for socialism simply so a stranger can pay their student loans. They spent so much money getting degrees from expensive schools to get jobs that don’t pay enough to pay for life and their debt. So this just might be the best thing that happens to you…..
Go to the community college or the online program. Save yourself from the burden that has handcuffed the last few generations. Save yourself from that debt by taking the less expensive route. No one cares WHERE you got your degree. They especially do not care where you spent your first 2 years. Or take a path that provides a better-paying career. The world needs skilled tradesmen and labor and there is no shame in that. In fact, it pays well because so many are unwilling to do it. If you have a talent or a knack for business, then get in business. That’s the best way to learn. By doing.
I think in terms of what do I want to tell my kids.
Work. Don’t be afraid of work. Put in the work. Work harder than your peers. Work really is good for your soul.
I’m all for do work you love. I’m more for love the work you do. Regardless of what it is. Find the joy, find the benefit. Some people have to do the boring work, the smelly work, the gross work, just so the rest of the world doesn’t have to. Create your own passion. The world needs more people that are happy in their lives, regardless of what their job is.
But work is good for the soul. So never don’t work. I am very okay with you making enough money to no have to work. Then you can work for free. Whatever, whenever, however you want. Trust me that is nice. But work will keep you happy, content,& driven.
That dream of retiring to sit around all day sunbathing eating lobster and sipping champagne is nice for vacation. But not for life. It gets old after a while. Lounging around with no purpose is fun till it’s not. Then you start to deal with depression, feeling meaningless, losing hope, and a general lack of purpose in the world.
Be smart, Be intelligent. Please. And let’s face it some of that is DNA. But for the love of all things good, don’t believe everything you see and hear. Every meme. Every video. Every post. Every commencement speech….WAIT…….
Have an independent thought. Get information. Get good information. Read conflicting information. Yall…45 seconds on Google, Bing, or Ask Jeeves is not research.
Be kind. Default to kindness. It’s not a weakness. People will 100% take advantage of your kindness. That’s fine. Be kind.
Loyalty. Integrity. Ethics. Morals.
All things everyone says they have until it benefits them to compromise. Define your loyalties. Define your integrity, your ethics, and morals. Draw a line in the sand. That is the line you will never cross. Even if it means costing you money, or reputation, leverage, embarrassment. HOLD THAT LINE. It pays off in the long run.
Self-esteem, self-worth, contentment, happiness. The suicide rate for your generation is scary. Too many kids thinking life is not worth living. Let me tell you it is. I don’t know if someone listening needs to hear this. IT IS. After all this school-age bull crap is over….Life is good. Know this. You are who you are and that is a good thing. You just can’t see it yet. Believe in yourself. You are worth believing in. Find happiness in your current situation. Stay motivated but find happiness in today. Never ever ever save happiness for one day in the future. Happiness is not a goal. Happiness is now.
Comparison and other people’s opinions.
Stop caring about what other people think about you. Especially your friends. Go against the grain. Pave your own path. Lead- don’t follow. Because no matter what you do, someone out there thinks you’re an idiot or that you’re ugly, a failure……Who cares. You can not change all their minds and it’s a wasted life to try. Be a Good person, but be your person. Comparison is a tool for motivation for some people, but it’s a path for depression for others. Motivating -Good. Depression- Bad. Take that 3x daily.
Most of you have zoned out by now so let me sum this up for you the best way I know how that is relevant to 18 yr olds.
Be the best version of yourself you can be and you will become an adult I will be very proud of. In your faith, your relationships, your integrity, your work, just try to be the best, you can be and it will all work out.
Luck, success, good fortune….The odds are more in your favor when you strive for greatness. Achieving doesn’t matter. It’s the effort that reaps the rewards.