Graduation Situation

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I attended one of three high school graduations this late spring when it occurred to me I’ve attended 21 graduations total in my life time. The first was watching my sister graduate from high school when I was twelve. As I sat in the most recent venue (high school gym) last evening with sweat pouring down my cheeks among 2,000 other folks I listened closely to senior speeches advocating “going for it in life” and “money isn’t everything” philosophy. It then hit me that I’ve heard the exact same speech (with some variations in the Oh, the Places You’ll Go theme) each and every graduation I’ve attended despite the fact that America has changed significantly over the same 30 year period. I must confess feeling an urge to stand up and interrupt the speeches yelling, “hey, over here. I know it’s exciting to conclude twelve years of sitting in rows, but here’s the truth about what you are going into.” Does anyone believe that next year’s speeches will be different (Colbert excluded)? Until we can admit as a culture that things just aren’t working the way they used to and find the willingness to jump toward something new I don’t see us escaping this time loop of pretend happiness.

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