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In honour of our month of blogging inspired by Mary Schmich’s Commencement Speech of 1997,  Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young  it was decided that a fitting way to end our journey-of-torture-and-pain would be to write our own commencement speech.

(Well… it seemed like a good idea at the time…)


So Ladies and Gentlemen,

Forgive me this indulgence,


Without further ado… 

I welcome you all,

and offer this Guide to life for graduates.



Dear class of 2009,


Today is not about endings or beginnings.

It is about continuations.


From the moment of conception it’s true that you were already the winner of that million to one swimmy-race. Keep striving for success. For aiming low becomes nothing less than a self fulfilling prophecy.


Don’t wake up grumpy in the morning. It’s a doleful waste of time and it certainly doesn’t make the coffee taste any sweeter. 


Don’t drink and drive. 

Don’t sms and drive, don’t talk on your mobile phone and drive, don’t do your lipgloss and drive, don’t twitter and drive, don’t eat a big mac and drive. 

Do sing and drive. 


Speculation is the work-of-the-devil. Think clearly and plan ahead for any eventualities but know that speculating on what other people may or may not do is like trying to catch moon dust with a tennis racket. 


Never be afraid to admit when you are wrong.

Never be afraid to reach out a hand for help. 

Always say thank you. 


Remember there is very little in this world that is not about advertising. Impartiality on all accounts rarely exists. Deal with it. 


When you fall in love allow yourself to free-fall hard. But never fall for anyone who wants to change you.

Unless you have a bad underwear habit that needs amending.

That change is perfectly acceptable. 


There’s nothing wrong with men being men and women being women. But there is definitely something wrong with inequality.


Note that the universe is a place of synergy. Even the most annoying bug has it’s reason for existing in this chain of life. There is only one thing that does not belong and should be eradicated from this planet.

And that is prejudice. 


The voice inside your head is powerful. Tune in and pay attention. 


Never forget to enjoy simple pleasures. When you were a child a trip to a park with a sand pit was a delight. As we grow older cynicism controls our excitement meter. Don’t ever forget the wonder of flying through the air on a swing, or the first suck of a shiny red lollipop.


Look inside when you are troubled. Rarely will you find the true answers that you seek from any external source.


Not everyone you meet on the internet is a freak or a geek or a sexual deviant.

Most are,

but not everyone.

Absorb technology and stay ahead of the latest fads but don’t forget to read books. Real books made from real paper with real spines and real smells. 


Flowers die, diamonds are forever. But if you can’t afford diamonds, write a letter.


Walk straight, tall and proud. Never hide behind grey clouds when you can be wearing rainbows.


Be a traveler not a tourist. Inhale the sights and taste the sounds. Read the Lonely Planet guide from front cover to back, but then leave it at home. 


Attitude belongs in a box with all the other remnants from your teenage years. It will have good company with pimples, underage binge drinking and MSN. Pop a lid on it and reminisce about it when you are fifty.


When you apologise do it with sincerity or don’t do it at all.


Choose items with the least amount of packaging. Buy chicken that has roamed the earth and is hormone free. Grow fresh herbs in your own garden. Take smaller steps in this big world.


Till the end of your days keep your brain active. Your hips may fail and your teeth may drop out, but if your mind is alert your life will always be Spring.


Perspective is everything. And Dogs are not accessories.


Potential unrealised will be the biggest regret of your life. Don’t have regrets.


Good Luck Class of 2009.


Continue on this path graduates, and try not to allow anything or anyone to interrupt you. 


Interruptions may at times happen.


But is entirely up to you,

as to whether you stumble over them,

or let them completely halt you.



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