It’s graduation time and I’ve got two soon-to-be grads in my family.
One is leaving college for the Fantasyland of the “real world.” (In fact, Anna has accepted a professional internship with the Walt Disney Co.)
The other is getting a high school diploma to become a professional college student. (Peter has received a scholarship to play soccer.)
Both are major milestones and huge accomplishments.
Like most parents, I’m very proud. And I’m a tad misty at what it means: two of my babies are nearly grown up. (They never will be fully grown, in my mind.)
It also means they are in serious need of some fatherly advice, whether they want it or not. (They don’t.)
With the help of my social media friends, I compiled a list of urgings and exhortations for them and the rest of the cap-and-gown crowd.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Don’t worry, be happy. It’s a fun song and great advice. Try to be happy and laugh every chance you get.
And when you aren’t happy, remember what Don Henley sang as he tried to get to the heart of the matter: “I think it’s about forgiveness.”
Laughter and forgiveness will carry you far in life. (I confess they are goals I haven’t always achieved.)
I stress the “don’t worry” stuff because as great as life can be, it also will really suck at times.
No sense in worrying about it. Stuff, as they say, happens. To everyone. Accept that and learn to make the best of bad situations. Your life will be happier, in the long run.
Usually stuff happens because someone made a mistake. Often, mistakes occur when you are taking chances.
Of course, taking chances can result in great success, resulting in laughter and happiness. Don’t be afraid.
Am I making sense yet?
Another reason to laugh as much as possible is because we never know when the laughter will end. Could be in 50 years. Or it could be tomorrow. If today is all you’ve got, do you really want to spend it angry or unhappy?
Which leads me to another suggestion: Make as many friends as possible and spend as much time with them as you can. Time spent with family and friends, even doing nothing, rarely is wasted time.
Challenge yourself. Don’t settle for “good enough.”
Listen to others. Respect their point of view. Consider the chance you are wrong.
Fight for what’s right.
Make good decisions.
Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. They are important dates in the lives of important people.
No one in Nigeria wants to give you $1 million.
No means no.
Drugs ruin lives. So do credit cards. And lies.
Always remember to floss, brush and wash your hands.
Tell the truth.
And, to Anna and Peter (and Ben), never forget: Dad loves you.