September 26, 2023

Just lately, I used to be thrilled and honored to be invited to provide the graduation tackle for my daughter’s high-school commencement.

For that event, I wished to discover transcendent, timeless themes, I wished to inform just a few good tales—and I wished to be temporary. So there have been many concrete, helpful ideas that didn’t make it into the precise graduation tackle.

However, I couldn’t resist writing up the whole lot I wished to say, even when I couldn’t embody it.

On June 15, I delivered the profound graduation tackle; right here’s the sensible graduation tackle.

After introductory remarks, right here’s how I’d have continued…


For years I’ve been amassing my “Secrets and techniques of Maturity,” the teachings I’ve gleaned with time and expertise. That is knowledge that I gained the onerous method, by means of trial and error; I hope that maybe I can prevent graduates from making the errors I’ve made.

Out of my tons of of Secrets and techniques of Maturity, I wished to recommend some that appear notably related to your stage of life, while you’re grappling with a variety of change and a variety of selections. 

I provide these observations on your consideration.

  1. Working is likely one of the most harmful types of procrastination.
  2. The place that hurts isn’t all the time the place that’s injured.
  3. In case you can’t discover one thing, clear up.
  4. It’s okay to ask for assist.
  5. You possibly can select what you do, however you may’t select what you like to do.
  6. In case you don’t know what to do with your self, go outdoors or fall asleep.
  7. Be well mannered and be honest.
  8. What you do every single day issues greater than what you do now and again.
  9. By no means ask for an extension on an task.
  10. Each day, ask: “What’s one thing can I do to place my values into the world?”
  11. Happiness doesn’t all the time make you really feel joyful.
  12. Attempt by 25—many lifelong preferences are set by younger maturity, so attempt new issues now.
  13. Don’t deal with a present like a burden.
  14. The most effective methods to make your self joyful is to make different folks joyful; the most effective methods to make different folks joyful is to be joyful your self.
  15. One thing that may be completed at any time is commonly completed at no time.
  16. When packing an merchandise that may leak, put it in a plastic bag.
  17. The issues that go flawed usually make one of the best recollections.
  18. In case you settle for the blame while you deserve it, folks will provide you with duty.
  19. The extra you set in, the extra you get out.
  20. Get your driver’s license.
  21. Don’t do one thing to make your self really feel higher if it simply finally ends up making you’re feeling worse.
  22. By doing a bit of bit every day, you may get quite a bit achieved.
  23. Someplace, preserve an empty shelf; someplace, preserve a junk drawer.
  24. Purchase any elements you need from the grocery retailer; consuming at dwelling is sort of all the time cheaper than consuming out.
  25. When you may’t resolve between two programs of motion, select the larger life.
  26. Generally, to maintain going, you must enable your self to cease.

And eventually:

  1. Hell is different folks. Heaven is different folks.

Some credit score for that final Secret of Maturity goes to Jean-Paul Sartre, and he’s proper: Hell is different folks. I keep in mind my mom as soon as remarking—with none rancor, simply matter-of-factly—“Every little thing could be really easy if it weren’t for folks.” True!

However what Jean-Paul Sartre didn’t write, and what’s additionally true, is that Heaven is different folks. As we undergo life, what issues most are {our relationships} with different folks.

Historical philosophers and modern scientists agree: To be joyful, we’d like enduring bonds; we have to belong; we have to get help, and simply as vital, we’d like to have the ability to give help. We should domesticate relationships with the folks near us, and we should domesticate relationship to the folks of the bigger world.

That’s the reason, graduates, in your subsequent phases of life, while you’re deciding the right way to spend your treasured time, vitality, and cash, something that broadens or deepens your relationships might be a good selection. That’s why we should deal with different folks with respect.


…Then I’d have given the identical conclusion because the profound model.

I loved writing each the Profound and the Sensible. What did I miss?