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It’s that time of the year: I see headlines about the bigwigs saying something silly or sad at graduation ceremonies. Urs Truly did not give my high school graduation speech; I was not valediction.  I have vague memory I was 13rd in my class. [1] I think we had two valedictorians, male and female. Mary Anne gave the speech to a rousing ovation while Kenneth D. did not speak. [2]

Speeches for graduates are made to inspire starry-eyed graduates to go out and be good – or something. I don’t know if anyone really listens let alone retains what is said at their graduation. [3]  Every year when I see another batch of these things I again wonder what I would have said if I had been top-gay at Grosse Pointe North or what I would say if some great academic institution asks me. [4]

Hey, I write a blog! I can write one here! So here it goes…..

Graduates, friends, and bored relations obliged to be here: I have been paid to say a few words to inspire you towards love, life, and work. I suppose I could be succinct and just say ‘42’ and let’s get home to the parties, but The Board of Directors where I work dictate I write more than that.

Let’s start with the bad news and get it out of the way. Some of you will succeed in life but the vast majority of you will not; you will have to live with disappointment. You will be dismayed and also comforted by the truism how well Life turns out is mostly chance and dumb luck and not the product of your talents or bungles. If you are fortunate you will do well enough and be content with this. Don’t focus on fame, money, and celebrity as few get these bagatelles. Thems who get them admit it’s better than not but they aren’t as fulfilling as we imagine them to be.

The good news is ‘happiness’ in life is achievable and it has little to do with the diploma you now have in your hands. Having a good social support network is the key, as well as good living habits. You don’t have to take turmeric or run marathons – just get enough sleep and eat mostly vegetables. Also, take time off regularly to chill.  There. It isn’t bedazzling but it’s real.

Some of you may be wanting me to tell you the meaning of life. I will do so: there is no meaning. Happily this allows you to make it up as you go along. So long as your life has meaning you will be well off.

Now I will stop. I’m tired and your.. well you are tired. It’s a terrible death to be talked to death so I stop occasionally to allow some of you to escape and this is your first opportunity.



[1] How on earth that was determined is anyone’s guess. I suppose it was based on grade point average ranked in order. I’ve often wondered if there is any correlation of high school GPAs and late in life ‘success’. I suspect there is little if any or perhaps even an inverse correlation.

[2]  Kenneth had a brain the size of a planet. Alas he did not fare so well. When I met him at a H.S. reunion he looked haggard as someone who has had a disappointing life. I read on FB he died a few years ago on his birthday. I suspect but can not confirm he committed suicide.  It’s a sad story no matter which way.

[3] My college graduation had Dan Rather I recall. I don’t remember a word he said. What I remember there was a sizeable amount of protestors who stood up and turned their backs on him while he spoke. I had to look around or stare through a woman’s thighs to see him.

[4] Fat chance of that.

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June 2019

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018