6 Points for a Graduation Speech

First: I’m only a beginner at life. I’ve never been alive before — this is my first time. That means I’m going to make mistakes. That’s ok. Understand that it’s only inexperience. I’ll try to understand your mistakes if you’ll try to understand mine. You forgive me and I’ll forgive you. After all, we are only beginners.

Second: Life is perishable. I will only live a short time — like a squirrel for its season or a fly for its day — and then I will die. Human life is fragile and temporary, like a sparkler arching though the night, briefly illuminating the darkness. Then it’s over. Life, vulnerable as it is, is all we’ve got. And that makes it valuable, as nothing else can.

Third: Life is enough. Quick, tempestuous, brief; over way too soon, and yet my life is enough. Some believe that there is more to it than we see here, that after we die our lives will somehow continue on. If so that’s a plus. But even if this is all there is, life is wonderful. Being alive is the whole show. Despite its briefness, life is enough for life.

Fourth: I will never know a time when I’m not alive. We only know what we experience, and if death is the cessation of experiencing, then death is something which can’t be experienced. I will never know that I ceased to be. Others will experience my death, but I cannot. So, even though it’s temporary, life – as actually experienced – has a strange eternal quality. There is an eternity in the moment.

Fifth: We are all in this together. I know I’m unique, but also I know each of you is unique. Yet, despite our uniquenesses, we have common feelings, common fears and pleasures, common pains and desires, common dreams and common failures. We share this human body between us. Driven by the same needs, felled by the same diseases, we are all in this together.

Sixth and final: This one flows from the first five, “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.”

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One Response to 6 Points for a Graduation Speech

  1. says:

    To quibble with this excellent piece: George Bernard Shaw said “do NOT do unto others as you would they should do unto you; their tastes might be different”.

    To add a thought: the older I get and the more I see neither improvement in theism, nor any diminution in the proportion of people embracing its fiction, the easier it is to be glad that life is not going last forever. One can get tired.

    One can pity the young who have to struggle through another theism-based world war. But the young relish the challenge. Excellent! Everyone is happy with their lot today!

    Cy Quick at mydigest.wordpress.com

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