Commencement Wisdom?

I have been to enough commencement exercises in my academic career that I can be considered as something of an expert at listening to high-priced men and women of distinction impart their wisdom  to the graduates, who in most cases just want to get the diploma and head out to dinner and those envelopes with congratulatory checks stuffed inside.

What usually happens at these commencement events is that after a few jokes and stories the speaker in full regalia and an honorary degree settles down to emitting the following standard pearls of wisdom:

” Follow your passion”

” Work hard”

” Chase that dream”

” Don’t avoid a challenge”

” Don’t let setbacks get you down”

” Control your destiny”

” Reach for the stars”

Blah, Blah, Blah

It is a rare experience when I have heard a commencement speaker offer the following words of advice, words that touch on the reality of the workplace of today and tomorrow:

” You have a lot to learn, so listen to those with experience”

” The world doesn’t owe you anything”

” Accept responsibility for your mistakes, don’t blame the person in the next cubicle”

“You’ll probably get fired once in your career”

“Just try your best”

And as Winston Churchill said,” never,never, never, never give up”

Congratulations to the Class of 2015, Good Luck, it’s a tough world out there.


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