Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Graduation Speeches

Inspired by the plethora of graduation parties our family is attending, here are some of my favorite "snippits" from well known commencement addresses & my wishes for the class of 2012 as they hatch from their nests...

 Russell Baker, Connecticut College 1995
“Point three follows from point two, and it’s this: Listen once in a while. It’s amazing what you can hear. On a hot summer day in the country you can hear the corn growing, the crack of a tin roof buckling under the power of the sun…. Or sometimes when you’re talking up a storm so brilliant, so charming that you can hardly believe how wonderful you are, pause just a moment and listen to yourself. It’s good for the soul to hear yourself as others hear you, and next time maybe, just maybe, you will not talk so much, so loudly, so brilliantly, so charmingly, so utterly shamefully foolishly.”

Steve Jobs, Stanford 2005
“Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary… Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

Best Call to Peace – JFK, American University 1963
“What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.”

"Today as you leave this place and start a new chapter in your life, this is my prayer for each of you: -May your lives be more influential and transforming than all the speeches ever given;
-May your example be more powerful than the lifelong summation of your hero's words or acts;
-May the lives you touch be more numerous than all the words hurled into the "blog-o-sphere;"
-May the legacy you leave behind be even more sweet than your memories of this laudable moment we celebrate today.
Congratulations to the Class of 2012"
Stephanie Hope Smith