In just a few moments, you will leave this tent as Millbrook graduates. Before you do, I ask you to “listen up” one more time for a few words of advice and farewell.
Life is inevitably complex and challenging. It is unfair, disappointing, and painful.
Life is beautiful. It is filled with opportunity and wonder and people whose kindness and caring are extraordinary.
Both statements are true. To help you cope with the former and find more of the latter, I offer these suggestions. For the most part, they are reminders, as you are on your way to understanding their value.
1. Expect the best, beginning with yourselves.
2. Never, ever compromise your integrity.
3. Don’t let your insecurities get in the way of your success.
4. Work hard.
5. Smile often.
6. Show compassion.
7. Be humble.
8. Leave it in better shape than you found it, whoever, whatever or wherever it is.
And, finally, remember your teachers fondly, for they, like your parents, are sure to become wiser and more reasonable as you grow older. Or, as Mark Twain wrote, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”
I wish you Godspeed and all the best that you may find in life.