I’ve never really been one for public speaking, but I thought this would be a good time to try my hand. First, two things. This isn’t going to be some cliche-infested, cookie-cutter inspirational speech to be played to the tune of that awful Green Day song. No, I’ll try to make this one something different. If you want some good advice for the future- you want inspiring noise? well listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. Seriously, that’s good- some good stuff. But until you go and ask your dad what that is, listen to what I have to say.
Graduate school. The place that has been the nexus of your lives for the past four years. Love it or hate it, it’s shaped you in one way or another. You got friends, comrades, and maybe even a significant other or two. You’ve also dealt with that problem of coming of age & becoming an ex-teenager. Gone are the “pimples on your face” days but hormones and that desire to fit in continues, you know what I’m talking about. Whatever it was, you’ve had to deal with it.
Well I’ve struggled with depression for the past two months, and last year it almost put me in the hospital.The thing is no one knows this because I hide it pretty well. I’m very good at it. It was a dark time for me where cold winds would blow and i had lost my hope to sorrow. It felt like I was the only one too. But do I look dead to you? I sure hope not. It’s still not easy to deal with, but I got better. It’s not the fact that you got knocked down, it’s that you get back up and you keep swinging. When half the country was lost, did Lincoln give up? Hell no, he picked himself up and launched the greatest comeback kid story in history. Was it easy? I sure doubt it. Did he do it? You bet your ass. You learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes, and you live to fight another day. I want to see more of that in the people around me. I want to see you grit your teeth and drag yourself up out of the bowels of Hell and show life that you cannot be broken.
You do this because you want to prove life wrong. You want to prove every person who’s ever said “you couldn’t do it”, every one who’s ever said you weren’t good enough, wrong. At my house there’s a gin glass that my ex-girlfriend gave me that has an Irish proverb etched into the side. ‘Living well is the best revenge’. You don’t give life the satisfaction of dominating you. Shoot to thrill, play to kill. Rock and roll every day like you’re Jimmy Page & Janis JO, be a beacon to others who don’t see it yet.
Because if there’s one thing humans do best, besides killing each other, is bouncing back. When it comes down to the wire, humans forget the petty things that make us different and work together to rise up. I’m hoping to see this happen soon, because dammit if it isn’t the 11th hour. But I do see hope. This generation, no matter how self involved, brainwashed, or desensitized it’s become, can pull through and usher in a new age for the future. But before we can do that, we need to remember that we are ALL humans. We’ve got so much more in common than we do that separates us. I don’t care what god you pray to, what country you’re from, what color your skin is, what computer you use, whether you drink Coke or Pepsi. That’s all bull-scum. If you think any of those gives you a reason to hate the other guy, shut up you must. I don’t know about anyone else, but I believe we are here on this earth to help each other. To do good to others, and to tolerate and encourage and help other people. Do something for someone every day, every chance you can. Help out another human. Don’t even expect a thank you, just do it. Maybe it’ll even encourage them to do something good for someone else, and so on and so forth. Maybe it will create a ghost to ghost hook up.
Soon, before you know it, everyone is helping everyone else, and you’ve got yourself a nice little trend going. But start now, start helping humanity now, because you could leave this today and live another seventy years happily, or you could step outside tomorrow and get hit by Sputnik. The future is uncertain, so why not use the present to do some good? I know that’s what I’ll try to do.
So that was my two cents, my little slice of life for you. Take from it what you will. But I do hope you’ll at least try to understand what I’ve said.
Congratulations to everyone who made it to 2013, go out and do something nice & meaningful, and for those about to rock, I salute you.