I’ve listened to a lot of graduation addresses. I’ve even given one once many moons ago. Last year I contemplated how different that would have been if I were to write it now.
But now, now I have heard very possibly the best advice ever given in one of these speeches. For graduates. For all of us.
And it was offered by the salutatorian, Divine Francis, of Veterans High School, one of the local schools here in our county.
First Divine said that he didn’t know the secret of success. He said if he did, he’d have already written the book and made a million dollars and retired to the Bahamas…..basically, not be HERE. Then he described a movie.
“What if I told you there was a new movie coming out, two hours long, of watching paint dry? And that if you paid the admission price, you could sit there and watch paint dry for two hours, up there on the big screen?” He paused. “You’d probably shake your head at me and ask, ‘Divine, why would I want to do that? Why would I want to waste two hours of my life doing that? That’s dumb!'”
“But what if it’s the night before finals and you decide to go to a party instead of studying. That’s just as dumb. I say, ‘Why would you want to do that?'”
“And I think that’s the best thing we can do as we go forth. Don’t do dumb things. That’s it. Don’t do dumb things.”
Y’all I’ve never been crazy about that word. But I have to tell you this. I clapped. As did so many who heard the words of this still seventeen year old–“I have a late birthday.” That pretty much wraps it up, doesn’t it?
In whatever you’re about to do, don’t waste your time on poor choices–instead make the effort to do the smart thing, the right thing.
Truth. From a graduate about to set out on a new path.
I think he’s going places.
Tonight I’m thankful for a young man who stepped outside the box and didn’t give the traditional speech filled with sentimentality and inspirational quotes and challenges to make every moment count–I’m thankful for his keeping it real and sharing simple wisdom and truth.
Love and an overabundance of wise choices to all.