For those who have just witnessed a graduation ceremony, you probably entertained lofty, noble thoughts while the speaker challenged the graduates to “go out and be a world-changer.” You watched proud parents take almost as many pictures as they did when their children were born.
Have you ever wished to install a window in the brains of parents as their offspring strolled across the stage to receive diplomas? We might hear something like this:
“There he goes. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I dropped him off at the door of his pre-school room? When did he get so tall and good looking?”
Or, you might hear, “She looks so confident receiving that award. The house is going to be empty when she goes off to college next fall. Where’s that tissue I put in my purse?”
My parents probably thought this about my brothers: “Well, he made it, even if it was by the skin of his teeth. I thought he could do it.”
Parents of the class clown might be thinking, “I know he’s headed for great things. Dear Lord, please make them legal!”
Parents of the FFA student, “Oh no, he has cow manure on his shoes!”
Parents of the cheerleader, “Her makeup is smeared.”
Parents of the student body president, “How are we going to afford law school?!”
Parents of the average student, “Well, she made it. I guess it was worth staying up all those nights, wading through geometry homework with her.”
For the benefit of those on the receiving end of the diploma, may I offer advice from someone who has been there and done that? This possibly is the most phenomenal statement you will hear as you graduate: In the workaday world, no one gets paid for breathing.
I know, it’s so simple a person almost misses the meaning. But while you are out changing the world, you will find that you still have to crank yourself out of bed early in the morning and do an honest day’s work if you want to be paid an honest day’s wage.
And one last piece of advice to the grads, along with our congratulations: Go out and change the world while you still know everything!