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What Advice To Give Ocean County’s Graduates?

Oprah Winfrey, Duke  University's 157th Commencement Ceremony
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It’s graduation season and we’ve been seeing footage of famous people giving commencement addresses.  The goal for the person at the podium is to share wisdom and inspiration that will prepare the grads for the real world.  People like Oprah, I’m sure, have a knack for those types of speeches.  Then there are the commencement speaker comedians like Will Ferrell who feel an extra pressure to make the crowd laugh.  (He succeeded over the weekend at USC, singing a bit of a Whitney Houston song while at the microphone.)

I’ll be attending my nephew’s college graduation this week.  I’m told the guest speaker will be a well-known politician from the Northeast.  I wonder if his words will motivate Dan to go out and do great things in the world.  I wonder what I might say that could help guide him.  The advice given by his parents over the years has clearly been good because he’s turned out to be a really smart, kind, conscientious young man.  But is there more that we can say during his graduation weekend?

And if so, what’s the best way to communicate those words of wisdom?  Write it down in a card that he might save as a memento?    Say it casually in conversation?  What about texting so he can refer to it in the future?

With so many of Ocean County’s “kids” graduating this year, here and elsewhere, what’s the best advice to give?  And what’s the best way to give it?  Is there a lesson from your own Commencement that might be worth passing on to the Class of 2017?


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