COLUMN: Words of wisdom for the class of 22 | Opinion

You won’t remember your graduation ceremony’s commencement speech, and that’s good. It will have no bearing on your future.

It’s just another time-consuming ritual with the 637 listens of “Pomp and Circumstance” to endure while sitting in an uncomfortable chair while waiting for the only aspect of graduation that really interests you – the parties!

But here’s a post you can watch after all the celebrations of your beauty have died down and you realize it’s time for you to take the next step. Yes, this does not mark an end, because it is another new beginning… (Sound of squealing brakes here).

No, it’s a line from every traditional speech. That’s not what you’ll get here. Prepare to receive a message to prepare you for the real world.

Hello, graduates. We keep hearing how “brave” you are to persevere in these “uncertain times”. Here’s a little secret: all times are “uncertain”. Times were uncertain for graduates of the early 1940s, 1950s and 1970s, when so many were sent overseas to fight – and perhaps die – for their country or a country they had no never heard of it. They were brave. Likewise, graduates in the 1960s, who endured duck and blanket drills in school, learned that a quarter inch of wood veneer would protect them from being vaporized in an atomic attack… then they were told to go back to their offices and do their multiplication tables.

You grew up in a time when school was closed or released early due to gusty winds…or a forecaster said there might be gusty winds. No wonder your generation’s battle cry is about the “anxiety” you face every day.

It’s the only thing many of you can claim to earn the coveted victim status. If you’re not anxious about every little thing, you’re the weird one.

Stop it with anxiety and all other diagnoses to describe normal human feelings and behaviors or to justify your own wrongdoings. Just own it and take care of it. Stop staring at your navel and keep moving. Success is meaningless if there are no struggles. This is where your parents and today’s culture failed. They put you on third base and tell everyone their “baby” hit a triple.

You are men and women now. Respectfully ask your parents and teachers to stop calling you “babies” and “kids.” It infantilizes you, which is the opposite of the kick in the seat you need. It implies that you are helpless and need to be supported. They’ve done a disservice by trying to shield you from anything that might hurt you, physically and emotionally, all with the well-intentioned goal of making sure you “got it better than us.”

It’s the battle cry of the modern parent…and it’s so destructive. You see, life doesn’t pull punches. There are no “safe spaces” in the real world, so you’re not equipped to deal with when it slaps you upside down – and trust me, it will. How are you going to handle it?

That’s what worries your elders. We see how you deal with the things you disagree with now – believing that feelings matter more than facts, and that disruption and disrespect are okay, as long as the cause is right in your mind undeveloped with your uninformed opinions. Unlike previous generations of protesters, you are being praised for these antics by “leaders” instead of being looked down upon. The long term repercussions of this positive reinforcement for the negative shenanigans probably won’t be good… Lord help us, we can only pray.

I hope the best for you individually, but I don’t expect the same for all of you. Those who work harder and smarter should have better results. Again, circumstances beyond your control may arise. There is such a thing as luck, good and bad. Both are inevitable, and both will seem unfair. It’s how you react that matters.

For many graduates of this generation, the only difficulty you faced was when you lost Wi-Fi just as you were about to set a high score in Minecraft. As a student of the 80s, I can relate – sort of. Losing a cable TV connection could be catastrophic for us. We just had to endure the Cold War and bad music.

But here’s the difference: our parents didn’t pamper and console us because of the Olympic boycotts or after we learned that Milli Vanilli didn’t exist. We were the last generation that could ride in the back of pickup trucks and ride bikes without helmets, without our parents having to worry about being humiliated in forums that affect billions of people with too much self-righteous indignation and too little control of their impulses.

You were told to fear the coronavirus. It’s become a cause celebre, which is the first indication you should be suspicious. When celebrities sit in their mansions and send messages about us “all in this together,” smell the BS — and, no, that’s not your bachelor’s degree.

By the way, you don’t have to get it either. Join the army, learn a trade, become a volunteer policeman and firefighter in your community. These things will likely lead to a more rewarding life than those “professional students” whose mission is to avoid adulthood by earning useless degree after useless degree and then burdening working people with their student loan debt.

Our “leaders” let you down by instilling fear of things that “could” happen and of a virus that kills less than 0.5% of its victims. They made you believe that it was your duty to self-quarantine because you could harm the elderly and the immunocompromised, when those people and their families should be responsible for isolating themselves. By the way, the greatest generation would never want us to give up our freedom and our way of life to protect them.

You’re more likely to know someone your age who died from too many Coronas than the Coronavirus, but you’re certainly not afraid of it. Wrecks, suicides, lightning, and low-flying planes are more legitimate concerns for you. But do not worry. Already. This emotion is always useless and useless. Live the Serenity Prayer: Accept the things you can’t change, muster the courage to change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Stick to that and the Golden Rule, and bring an old-fashioned, blue-collar work ethic to your every endeavor. You will stand out from your peers and you will give yourself a great chance to succeed and live a good life.

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