This is the time of year when you will hear wise words spoken from the platform of graduation ceremonies all across the country. I'll be traveling to Florida soon to see my nephew graduate and will no doubt hear an impassioned speech filled with wise words. I've never been asked to speak at one of these events, probably because who else would be there to run sound! But just in case I ever am, here is what I'd say...
Good morning graduates, faculty and staff of this fine school. You may be surprised to see me speaking to you today, but all the highly educated speakers were already booked and you are stuck with me. I did graduate from high school and higher education and do have a B.S. degree - afterall my eyes are brown. (Some of you will get that later.) What I want to give you today as you graduate is my five rules I have - or at least have tried to live by.
If in doubt, don't - or at least wait. There are many choices you will face in life and unless you are 100% sure of the course to take don't take any action. Gather more information, study the issue, people and circumstances involved and pray hard for God's guidance. He will guide you - you can trust Him.
When you speak, say exactly what you mean. The Bible says let your yes be yes and your no be no - anything beyond that is not needed. We as humans by nature will want to say more, but make sure those words are true and reflect your feelings accurately. Don't play word games and do everything you can to communicate effectively. Choose your words wisely - they mean more than you realize.
Don't be a people pleaser. Of all pursuits in life this may be the most foolish. Trying to please people is like chasing a carrot on a stick, as close as it is you will never quite reach it. Please God and people will be attracted to you when you reflect His love.
Don't be afraid of no. Don't be afraid to say no or of hearing a no. You will want to do but can't do everything, take every opportunity, see everything you want and enjoy everything you are offered... sometimes you have to say no. As your priorities and God's will for your life becomes clear you will want to say no so that you can stay on task. Don't be afraid of a no when you hear it. The person may be saying no so they can stay on task - it's not personal. When you hear no - think and investigate the why - perhaps by meeting that person's needs or helping them with their task you can accomplish yours as well. By the way reading the book 'Getting to Yes' by Robert Fisher is worth the time.
Finally, stay away from drama and negative people. Life is too short to be involved with either.
So today you graduate and take the next step in life.... good luck and God speed.