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Strive to make a difference PDF Print
Saturday, May 31, 2014 8:00 PM

Another school year is drawing to a close. In the next few weeks there will be words of wisdom offered to this year’s graduates.

Parents, teachers and representatives from all walks of life will provide encouragement as these young men and women take their place in the world.

At a few universities, graduating seniors used social media to protest against a few proposed commencement speakers that ardent activists didn’t want at their respective schools for political reasons. Several speakers decided not to appear where they were not welcome.

Getting the hook were such noteworthy graduation-day speakers as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Christine Lagarde of France, the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund.

Seems strange that students who treasure free speech and robust debate would use their new-found social media powers to disrupt a rite of spring.

Here are some words of wisdom handed down through the ages that are good for people of all ages:

- Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older he will remain upon it. The wise man is glad to be instructed. Making poor excuses makes us weak; making tough decisions makes us strong. We usually make a mistake when we make an excuse.

- Cheerfulness is the Golden Rule in action; kindness is the essence of love in action. A cheerful heart is good medicine; a broken spirit causes one to be ill.

- Losers look for excuses; winners search for answers. And, diligent study and intelligent work contain the maps to discovery, the charts to achievement and the blueprints for success.

- The loser misses opportunities by whining, pining, declining and reclining. The winner makes opportunities by going, sowing, growing and knowing.

- The only thing heavier than carrying a chip on our shoulder is carrying a grudge in our heart. And, enthusiasm and confidence fuel the fires of achievement.

- The highway to happiness is helpfulness; the pathway to peace is prayer; and the gateway to gladness is generosity. And, we create our tomorrows hour by hour; we mold our futures moment by moment, day by day.

 

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Other graduation thoughts from the past that you may have forgotten:

- Jim Lehrer told graduates: “Some of the dumbest people I know have degrees from some of America’s finest institutions of higher learning.”

- Former first lady Barbara Bush said, “There’s a big difference between having a career and having a life. Be sure not to confuse the two. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend or a parent.”

- Joe Clark, a high school principal, said, “Many of you will miss success because it come dressed in overalls and looks like work. What you do for yourselves, you will take to the grave. What you do for others will live on in perpetuity.”

- Actor Kelsey Grammer said, “Life will serve up staggering challenges. You will find comfort and distress in the most unlikely places. In the eyes of a loved one, in the unexpected death of a good friend, you will find faith. The sheer beauty of the world around you and the laughter of a really good joke will sustain you. What you most need in life will be given to you. In the face of unimaginable anguish, there will be joy.”

- Comedian Stephen Colbert said, “We should endeavor to serve others, and together serve some common goal or idea. In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love, because, as the prophet says, service is love made visible. If you love friends, you will serve your friends. If you love community, you will serve your community. If you love money, you will serve your money. And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself. And in that case, you will have only yourself. Instead, try to love others and serve others, and hopefully find those who love and serve you in return.”

- Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, a retired U.S. Airways pilot, said, “After giving this address some deep thought, I urge you to do what I have worked to do in my life: to continue to invest in yourselves, never stop learning, never stop growing, either professionally or personally. To show up for your life, choose not to be a bystander, be present and celebrate every moment. None of us knows what tomorrow may bring. Each of us has the responsibility to prepare ourselves well. Time will fly by. You’ll wake up 40 years from now and wonder where the years went. You will ask yourself a question: Did I make a difference? My wish for each of you is that the answer to that question will be yes.”

Last Updated on Friday, May 30, 2014 8:50 PM
 

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