Today is, at least here in the United States, a very important day.
Today, a new challenge begins.
For today is the day, for many Americans, when the senior High School class has their last official day of school before being unleashed upon the world.
Perhaps your school is already out, perhaps it isn’t until next week. But today is the epicenter of the devastation.
Prepare yourselves, one and all.
Today is unleashed a new generation unto the workforce that know it all, and surely the wrongs of the world will be made right, and peace and a new utopia shall spread across the land.
Look around you my friends, and remember that today’s graduates, the experts of Facebook and Myspace and video games and friends with benefits will be tomorrows’ politicians and businesspeople… and all that stuff they dumped on the web about loving to smoke pot, how it helps the music mellow them out? That they figure they, ya know, invented?
Boy, the background checks these people have done on them are going to be hiLARious.
You poor bastards.
Okay, but seriously. This is a huge, frightening time, and you may be stressing as it finally dawns on you that, truthfully, you are screwed. Where you go from here is your call, and if you screw it up, it’s on your own ass. Nobody else to blame it on.
So I have some advice for you to take with you as you head out into the real world. And I really, really mean it. This is the accumulated wisdom of my 40 years on this Earth. Use it well.
Life sucks, the universe is NOT fair, no, NOT FAIR, do not ever, ever, ever use the word ‘fair’ in front of anyone, about anything that shall ever happen for the entire rest of your life.
You think you are worldly, you’ve seen more and done more than any of the innocents that have gone before. You’ve seen the craziness on Youtube, you’ve seen American Idol, you think you’ve got a good idea what to expect.
No, really. You don’t. I wish you COULD, I really would like to save you some pain, but life is going to take you, and embrace you, pat you on the back, and then it’s going to knife you in the ribs and lift your wallet. You’ll learn, and grow, but you WILL have scars before 5 years are gone. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you’re careful, you will escape unharmed. Nobody gets out of this alive, so make the best of it while you’re here. Live life, take risks when you have to, and minimize the potential damage to other people whenever humanly possible.
You will know you’ve gained wisdom when you can properly judge when it’s worth taking a risk, and when you can understand and accept the potential consequences when things go wrong. And in the real world, things do go wrong.
When you go out to begin to make your mark, to carve out a life for yourself and begin, do not take an attitude into your new world, and do NOT, EVER, be judgmental towards others.
Keep an open mind and remember that what someone else does is only under the control of someone else. Do not get judgmental.
Your boss smokes? Do not get up on your high horse and give him crap for having an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Believe it or not, he or she has heard the whole thing before, you are not a brave new pioneer telling someone this secret wisdom about how ‘smoking is unhealthy’.
Do not get judgmental. I can’t stress that enough. It is enough that YOU do not do the things that bother you.
In time, you will gain a better understanding of when it is appropriate to try and help someone else with unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Like when you’re 90.
You have one shot at starting clean in this brave new world. So get out there, and remember what you CAN control.
You can control yourself. That’s it. You cannot control the actions or behaviors of your boss, your friends, your parents, or your co-workers.
You can control your mouth, so it does not open and get you into trouble. You can control your attitude, and not alienate or piss off the people around you.
You can control your own work ethic, and show by example that you can work hard, be consistent, have the ability to focus on your tasks and follow them through to completion, and to have an eye for detail so that when you say that a job is complete, that you have taken the time to verify that every aspect of the job really IS complete, and done right the first time.
You can control your appearance, to give off the impression you really want to give. Yes, if you wish to appear professional, that includes shaving off that peach fuzz with the random stray4″ long hair off the side of your face. No, it’s not a beard. Give it up.
Take a shower or bath, regularly. No, I don’t care if no one ever complained before and YOU don’t smell anything. Do it. And soap, while made out of caustics, won’t actually burn you. Use it.
Hey, that toothbrush and toothpaste? Use them too. And when you swallow a small dab of toothpaste to help freshen your breath? We call that a ‘squib’ of toothpaste.
Remember the lessons you have learned here on the blog. If you keep your mouth closed and listen, people may think that you’re an idiot, but the second you open your mouth you PROVE you’re an idiot.
To the new generation of future leaders…
God help us all, and good luck.