Message to the Graduating Class: Find and Give Happiness

photo of two women sitting on road
Photo by Jhosua Rodru00edguez on

Dear Class of 2015

Here are a few things that will happen to you as you move through life:

  1. Many people will not care about you. Many may not even like you.
  2. Unfair things will happen more often than you ever thought they would.
  3. You will not always get what you want.
  4. There will come a time when you do not have anyone to turn to and you feel overwhelmed and helpless.
  5. You will get dangerously angry. You may even lose control completely.
  6. You will come to realize that not everything revolves around you.
  7. You will have to work harder than you ever imagined.
  8. You will fail.
  9. You will feel despondent about the state of the world. (The Germans even have a word for this, they call it Weltschmerz.)
  10. Your heart will break at least once more.
  11. You will be wrong and have to apologize.
  12. You will die.

But even though all of this will happen, life (while it lasts) can be beautiful and richly rewarding. Take your lumps, learn your lessons and move on. Don’t dwell on the negatives and avoid spiraling into a dark place. It can be close to impossible to get out again once you do.

The trick is to be kind as often as possible, to laugh as often as you can and to surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Think, go on adventures and appreciate what you have. And most importantly, find the things that make you and others around you happy. (If possible, make a career out of these things.)

And remember, although all these bad things will happen to you, they will also happen to everyone else. Any small amount of comfort and joy you can give to others makes it better for them – and for you.

We are all in this together.

Mr H


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