Monday, June 6, 2011

Be Yourself, Learn Yourself

Graduation season is wrapping up for college grads, and it always amazes me how wonderful and silly commencement speakers can be. Silly? Yes.

On one hand, they deliver amazing advice and great stories. But on the other, the "be this, be that" mentality is futile. Why? Because new grads have to figure it out themselves. They have to live and experience things for themselves--only then can they react.

In many ways, commencement speeches are nothing more (for the most part) than a speaker unloading his or her knowledge and lessons learned on the young. Which is great, but really, do grads need to be told what to be? No. They--you--have to experience things on your own. Then you gather your own lessons learned. But you have to learn them yourself. Someone can't tell you how to be, or how to react. You can try to use that advice to better navigate a situation, but in the end, you really have to take your own, authentic approach to a situation--you can't live off someone else's perspective or take their path, you can only keep it in mind and draw from it.

Sorry to knock graduation speakers--not my intent. I was just reading something and it really got me thinking. I always disliked being told "how to be." Why not share your experiences and invite me to make my own?

I hope you took something from your commencement speaker, something hopeful. But as far as how to be and how to experience things, just go for it. How you experience it is never wrong and you'll get to gather up lessons learned for yourself, by yourself.

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