No one’s asked me to speak at graduation, but I’ve prepared a message for seniors anyway.
Theme: Values you’ve been taught in school—forget them.
1) Play fair. In sports and group projects you’ve been taught to work cooperatively, follow the rules, and lose gracefully. Forget it. Look out for Number One, remake the rules to guarantee your success, and never admit defeat.
2) Always tell the truth. Forget it. Presenting supporting evidence and documenting sources apply only to student research papers. Adults know that the truth is whatever they want it to be.
3) Don’t resort to name calling. Forget it. Go with “socialist elitists,” “Pocahontas,” “Sleepy Joe.” Name calling is a very effective way to create negative associations that stick.
4) Respect and uphold the Constitution. Forget it. Hug the flag and interpret the Constitution to suit your purposes.
5) Value the scientific method, which includes knowing the difference between theories and hypotheses. Forget it. If you benefit, declare that human behavior has nothing to do with global warming.
6) Understand and value our nation’s history. Forget it—especially if you’re white and have children. You don’t want them feeling guilty about injustices of the past.
7) Respect those from different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Forget it. Close the borders. Real Americans (i.e., white) should be winning our national spelling bees, representing us at the Olympics, and be the ones honored for their scientific and technological contributions.
8) Share what you have. Forget it. What’s yours is yours. Accumulate all you can.
Graduates, in case you haven’t noticed, the education you’ve received has little relationship to the culture you’re stepping out into. You can, of course, adjust to the real world. Or you can envision a better way, put what you’ve learned in school into practice, and work for change.
TRUE-ly and un-FORTUNE-ately, that seems to be the way it is. But I just got back from the memorial service for a fellow who was the exact opposite. So heartwarming and reassurinng. (And the church was full!)
May he have been a model for a new generation.
Today our Minister charged the Confirmation Class to study and recognize Good and Evil, and contribute to Good.
It may be their most constant challenge and highest calling. I pray for the gift of discernment for them, and for myself.
As the adage goes, “Easier said than done.” Thanks for your response, Jack.
I love this, Nancy, and will send it to our high school graduating grandson……
We have a graduating grandson too. It’s hard to imagine the challenges ahead for this generation.