It’s graduation season around here and I thought I would share my advice for those graduating from high school or college.
It doesn’t cost anything to be compassionate. You will always have the choice of whether to be critical of someone or to be compassionate. Even if you strenuously disagree with their beliefs or their actions, choose compassion.
Put people “up”. Rather than putting people down, praise someone who is doing something well. You’ll find that the people around them conform to what you have just praised. It also will give people some strength to get through a hard situation. Jon used to have a parishioner who would ALWAYS find something to praise in Daniel’s behavior on a Sunday morning, even if it was just that he was exuberant that day. It was a nice break in the nasty looks I got from people because my kid dared to make a sound in church or run up the aisle.
VOTE. Always, always, ALWAYS! The current nightmare in the White House was elected by 27% of the population because close to 50% of eligible voters didn’t show up. Your vote makes a difference whether for a bond measure, the mayor, or your Congresscritters! If you are over 18, you have a responsibility to help shape the political landscape of your community and your country.
Get outside of your country. This one is especially true for those of us in the USA! There is a whole world to see and many different languages, religions, and cultures. Go and explore them.
Say “please” and “thank-you”. Ten years ago, I taught a coworker how to do something and she poked her head in the room afterward to thank me. I remember that ten years later because it is a rare thing. When I was talking to the head of the BASAM program at my school about it a few weeks ago, she commented that such a thing would be in someone’s favor in a hiring decision. It also creates a better workplace when people are polite to each other.
Read. Find a genre you like and make sure you spend time reading. It will make you a much more interesting person.
Never stop learning. My great-aunt is 96 and tells this to her grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews frequently. Learn how to do your own home repairs. Learn how to cook for yourself. Learn a new language. Just always be ready to learn something.
For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.