Stream of Consciousness

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One-Sentence Commencement Speeches

Northeastern graduated two weeks ago and BU graduates this weekend (along with a plethora of other schools). Our speaker was Dr. Kenneth Cole (and yes, he is now a doctor) - who was surprisingly good - and if anyone has a copy of his speech I would love it.

PostSecret's Frank Warren delivered a commencement speech at St. Mary's College in Maryland this week and asked students to submit "one sentence speeches."

I did not know what to expect by tapping into your collective wisdom, but I was soon thrilled by the insight, humor, and inspiration I felt in your earnest one-sentence commencement speeches. Here are just a few.

Be wise enough not to be reckless, but brave enough to take great risks.

It’s okay to fail – learn from it and you will succeed.

It’s better to be pissed-off than pissed-on.

These next three all offer solid advice about making the transition from St Mary’s to the real world.

With the increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacteria and the increasingly epidemic worldwide outbreak of swine flu, WASH YOUR HANDS . . . RELIGIOUSLY.

In the real world, you must wear shoes.

I know some of us are going to walk off this stage today with no idea about what comes next – embrace it, find something that makes you happy, and follow it wherever it leads.

The comments section of PostSecret also has thousands of others. Some of my favorites:

You can do anything. But not everything.

No matter how low you consider yourself, there is always someone looking up at you wishing they were that high.

It''s okay to be afraid, but don't let that fear hold you back. Instead, have it push you forward, breaking through the barrier you thought was there.

It's ok to be scared and it's even ok to fail; you don't have to be perfect.

"to do is to be" - nietzsche
"to be is to do" - kant
"do be do be do" - sinatra
only your song matters in the end

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