This year’s graduation speech

Last year I wrote a post that I intended to be my speech if ever I was asked to give a commencement speech by a school. (Hey Harvard, I’m still waiting for that honorary degree). Any way, I got some good feedback from it, no one posts comments here but they tell me what they thought face to face. I wish you would do both. But anyway, I decided that I would do it again, maybe this time Yale will call.

As you move on to your lives, be it college or the working world, there are a few things that you need to hear and I’m willing to bet that no one has told you in so many words…until now.

  • Be kind to people, there are 2 ways to spread light in the world, either be the flame of hope and goodness or be a mirror that reflects it.  If we all make or reflect the light the world will glow and be a place that we can live and flourish together.
  • Listen to other people, give them an opportunity to have a voice, you will be surprised at how much they will teach you. Learn to compromise with them, the most important journey you will make in life is when you meet another person halfway.
  • Do good. Give of your time and if possible give of your wallet. So much good is done in our world and it all goes unseen. Don’t do good to be noticed, do it because it’s right.
  • Judge people on their actions not on their words. Most people, you included, say what you think is right but sadly often end up doing something else. Knowing that is how people are, watch them as much as you listen to them. Actions speak so loudly that often it drowns out what someone might have said.
  • Keep one hand reaching forward to be available for those wishing to help you take a step up, but keep one hand reaching back to those behind you that you can help too. This human chain is what holds the world together.
  • Know who your friends are, they’ll be the people standing around you when you are going through tough times.  Make sure you don’t forget to invite them to the party when the tough times are over.
  • Every person you meet comes bearing a gift. Be smart enough to accept it and share it. Sometimes it will be a lesson you need to learn, sometimes it may just be an affirmation of what or who you are. Sometimes it’s an example of what “not” to do. In any case look for everyone’s gifts and you will value every person you meet. Then remember that you have to be willing to give them something back.
  • Lastly, get a good watch: If you want to have a good time, you’ll need a good watch. But more importantly you will need to know that there is a time for everything; a time to speak, a time to listen, a time to celebrate, a time to weep, a time to share and a time to be alone. Timing, is everything

So in a nutshell, going forward: be nice, listen up, do good, judge wisely, help others, make friends, learn from everyone you meet and get a good watch. Good luck.


  1. Diane T. on June 10, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Good advice, J!

    • Gymfinity on June 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Diane, that means a lot coming from you. Hope all is well for you guys at hand2hand.

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