September 30, 2023

Lately, I used to be thrilled and honored to be invited to present the graduation tackle for my daughter’s high-school commencement.

For that event, I needed to discover transcendent, timeless themes, I needed to inform just a few good tales—and I needed to be temporary. So there have been many concrete, helpful strategies that didn’t make it into the precise graduation tackle.

However, I couldn’t resist writing up all the things I needed to say, even when I couldn’t embody it.

On June 15, I delivered the profound graduation tackle; right here’s the sensible graduation tackle.

After introductory remarks, right here’s how I’d have continued…


For years I’ve been amassing my “Secrets and techniques of Maturity,” the teachings I’ve gleaned with time and expertise. That is knowledge that I gained the onerous means, by means of trial and error; I hope that maybe I can prevent graduates from making the errors I’ve made.

Out of my tons of of Secrets and techniques of Maturity, I needed to recommend some that appear significantly related to your stage of life, once you’re grappling with numerous change and numerous selections. 

I provide these observations in your consideration.

  1. Working is among the most harmful types of procrastination.
  2. The place that hurts isn’t at all times the place that’s injured.
  3. Should you can’t discover one thing, clear up.
  4. It’s okay to ask for assist.
  5. You may select what you do, however you’ll be able to’t select what you like to do.
  6. Should you don’t know what to do with your self, go outdoors or fall asleep.
  7. Be well mannered and be truthful.
  8. What you do every single day issues greater than what you do occasionally.
  9. By no means ask for an extension on an task.
  10. Daily, ask: “What’s one thing can I do to place my values into the world?”
  11. Happiness doesn’t at all times make you really feel glad.
  12. Strive by 25—many lifelong preferences are set by younger maturity, so attempt new issues now.
  13. Don’t deal with a present like a burden.
  14. Among the best methods to make your self glad is to make different folks glad; among the best methods to make different folks glad is to be glad your self.
  15. One thing that may be accomplished at any time is usually accomplished at no time.
  16. When packing an merchandise which may leak, put it in a plastic bag.
  17. The issues that go improper typically make the very best reminiscences.
  18. Should you settle for the blame once you deserve it, folks provides you with duty.
  19. The extra you place in, the extra you get out.
  20. Get your driver’s license.
  21. Don’t do one thing to make your self really feel higher if it simply finally ends up making you are feeling worse.
  22. By doing somewhat bit every day, you will get rather a lot completed.
  23. Someplace, hold an empty shelf; someplace, hold a junk drawer.
  24. Purchase any components you need from the grocery retailer; consuming at residence is sort of at all times cheaper than consuming out.
  25. When you’ll be able to’t resolve between two programs of motion, select the larger life.
  26. Generally, to maintain going, it’s a must to enable your self to cease.

And at last:

  1. Hell is different folks. Heaven is different folks.

Some credit score for that final Secret of Maturity goes to Jean-Paul Sartre, and he’s proper: Hell is different folks. I bear in mind my mom as soon as remarking—with none rancor, simply matter-of-factly—“Every little thing can be really easy if it weren’t for folks.” True!

However what Jean-Paul Sartre didn’t write, and what’s additionally true, is that Heaven is different folks. As we undergo life, what issues most are {our relationships} with different folks.

Historic philosophers and up to date scientists agree: To be glad, we want enduring bonds; we have to belong; we have to get assist, and simply as vital, we want to have the ability to give assist. We should domesticate relationships with the folks near us, and we should domesticate relationship to the folks of the bigger world.

That’s the reason, graduates, in your subsequent phases of life, once you’re deciding spend your valuable time, vitality, and cash, something that broadens or deepens your relationships might be a good selection. That’s why we should deal with different folks with respect.


…Then I’d have given the identical conclusion because the profound model.

I loved writing each the Profound and the Sensible. What did I miss?