We are in the time of year for commencements, and every commencement has a commencement address.
There is a certain formula that these follow, and so most sound the same. This is safe, and it’s not likely to change. There are times, however, when I fantasize about hearing another sort of address. One that lays out the truth the way it is. In my opinion, it would go somewhat like the following:
You are never going to be president of the United States. There are 300 million of you and one of him. While what we’ve seen on the last few decades doesn’t seem to make talent for the office much of a barrier, you are going to be shouldered out of the way by statistics alone.
Don’t cry about that; it leaves you free for more important things, like raising a family. Yes, you are probably going to raise a family. Not everybody does it. Most do. For the overwhelming bulk of us, it’s the most important thing we will ever do. The key to doing it well is to choose a good person as your spouse and to be good to them. If you get that down, the rest just sort of follows. Raising a family is a natural thing, after all.
Don’t believe what you see on TV or hear on the radio or read in the newspapers. Consider the weatherman. He’s an honest sort of guy without a political ax to grind and even he gets it wrong. How much more so with the rest? Fox, CNN, NPR, MSNBC it doesn’t matter; they’ve all got an agenda; they’ve all got an ax to grind. If you can’t help but watch it —and I have to confess that I do —at least remember what I said about the weatherman.