Friday, May 19, 2006

Advice for the Grads (Column #100)

Well, here we are at column #100.

That's right, at this time, I'm typing out what will be the one hundred posting on my blogsite, The Adventures of Dave. I wanted to do something cool for this 100th posting, so I thought I should address Kourtney & Kandice Kelley and Jaci Gresham, three of my girls from drama at Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship). I've known all three since they were in 6th grade, so to watch them grow up has been remarkable... and I'm proud to say, God did good.

So, for your graduation this week, plus anyone else who is on the verge of leaving High School, I'd like to give you what Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune wrote to the Class of 97... it was also made into a song a few years later, produced by Baz Luhrmann. Who is he? Never mind that now, I'll explain later.

Anyway, my first piece of advice would be:
"Follow God, no matter how silly, no matter how crazy, no matter how much it doesn't make sense. Follow Him. He's done alright so far, so you can trust He has a plan."

Beyond that, I say this:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’06... wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice...

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults... if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks David. :) I don't know that I've told you just how much you've meant to me over the years and how much you were involved in making me who I am. Thank you for all of your prayers. -Kourtney


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