Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spare a Few Words for Our Graduates

As I was enjoying the sunshine in our backyard the other day, I couldn’t stay focused on the book in my hands. Instead, my ear kept wandering to a nearby volley of bird calls. Finally, I saw the reason. This little guy was in flight rehearsal, which meant he spent a whole lotta time calling out to Mama (and listening to whatever she said in return) and fluttering his wings before each takeoff.

His practice route was from the roof edge to the tree just on the other side of the driveway. Whenever he managed to get in the air, his landing gear dangled and wiggled—eager to hit something solid. He succeeded every time, thankfully.

’Tis the season: Young birds prepare to leave the nest, and young college graduates prepare to do the same. (Correction: Young grads prepare to leave academia; many will have to return to the old nest because a recession has made it impossible to do otherwise.)

I’ve been noodling on writing my own little commencement address for today’s graduates. Phrases like First, Do No Harm and Life Isn’t Fair bob around my gray matter. Kindness, awareness, compassion bob there, too.

But then I thought, Why not ask Lull readers to weigh in on this? Why not include a collective of advice, encouragement, warnings, and inspiration?

So tell me—to borrow from Dorothy Allison’s Two or Three Things I Know for Sure—one thing (or more) that you know for sure now about life that you didn’t know in your early 20s. Or tell me one thing you’ve always known that might help others to know, too. (I, for instance, should have listened to my grandmother’s advice ages ago.)

If you’re too shy to post anything in the Comments section, I understand. But how about shooting me an e-mail instead and I’ll post your contribution (with or without your identity, as you please)? You can send your remarks to lilloflull at gmail dot com.

I look forward to hearing from you…

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