Hey, friends. This is the graduation speech I delivered this year. I hope you like it; I hope you learn something from it; and, I hope all of you wonderful people I went to school with know how much I really, truly mean what I said. You make saying goodbye so hard, and those are the best goodbyes to have- the ones full of love, friendship, and grace. Don’t ever be afraid to take me up on my offer to call.
All the love in the world,
Do the hard thing: In order to live a meaningful life, we must become a fearless people, unafraid by the possibility that what is right is not always popular, that often goodness and love are not easy. The hardest things are usually those most worth doing.
Choose love: We have to stop the glorification of politeness and insincere conversation, and we have to start valuing genuineness. We can’t stay on this surface level of our humanity and expect to get something deeper out of it. Experience things that make you feel; let your empathy grow to be so great that it can’t help but overflow to everyone you meet. Use your freedom of expression to love the people around you.
Make a difference: Do everything in your power to fall in love with life, with people. Fill your life with sunshine and smiles…because a life focused on yourself and materialism will only be questionable at best. We are all capable of big, meaningful, kindhearted lives, and we are all capable of changing the world for the better.
Be bold: Question the truths that you blindly accept. Truth is relative and there is so much to learn from asking hard questions about who you are and what you believe. Seek out adventures that will open your mind, going boldly into the world and learning the value of accepting those unlike yourself. Tolerance and compassion are qualities of fearless people. Remember to be brave.
I believe in a brighter someday, but someday is only possible if we challenge the status quo, if we fight with everything we’ve got for what we believe in, if we find the courage somewhere deep within ourselves to stand, unrelenting, for what we know is right. Someday is only possible if we choose acceptance and generosity and authenticity and love. If we don’t, someday looks just like today. And, there’s no growth in staying the same.
Growing up with all of you has been the biggest pleasure. I believe that each of you is capable, brave, and significant even when it feels like you’re not. Wherever life takes you, remember that someone out there believes in you, remember that you’re loved, and remember that if you ever need a friend, you can always, ALWAYS call me. Now, let’s go out and choose love. Let’s go out and be bold.