From grade school to graduate school, graduates all across the world are celebrating their promotions. With each graduation ceremony, there are the obligatory graduation speeches. The internet is replete with examples of celebrities, politicians and leaders expounding speeches designed to galvanize students and parents alike. As I sat in the audience, a proud parent of my son who was matriculating from middle school, I was pleased to hear an honest confession by the principal. She bluntly shared she was not funny, nor could she produce an inspirational speech like others that could found on the internet. In fact, the best advice she found was from the sage, Robert Fulghum, who succinctly summed up his life experiences in a book, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” His key points were summarized by the principal.
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don’t hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mees.
- Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
- Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
- Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
- Take a nap every afternoon.
- When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
- Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
- Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
- And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first world you learned – the biggest word of all -Look!
I heartily agree with most of these insightful and amusing points! All of these aphorisms share wisdom and good advice and no doubt, it will help one to get along with others, but to what end? After the cookies and politeness, after the naps and wonders of living in this world, is there nothing more after death? Does the only wisdom we acquire in this lifetime end with our relationships with each other? Are we no better than goldfish, hamsters and white mice? Is there any hope beyond this life?
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die….”
John 11:25-26 (ESV)
Much wisdom can be found in the words of man. If I wanted to impart wisdom to graduates through a commencement address, I would implore them to emulate the life of the only perfect Man who ever lived, Jesus Christ. Only He lived a sinless life, completely obedient to God. He bore the punishment for our sins upon His broken Body and died an excruciating death. Three days later, God raised Him from the dead. He conquered death and offers salvation and eternal life to all who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
All I really need to know is found in following Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.