Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thoughts during the Commencement Season

Photo from Holy
I have been sad to read about the split up of the marriage of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, although I can't say I am surprised. Actors and politicians don't seem to have a good track record in marital fidelity, and Mr. Schwarzenegger has both of those things in his background. However, it isn't my intention to speculate on the Shriver/Schwarzenegger marriage other than to say I feel bad that their family is hurting.

I became a real fan of Maria Shriver's back in 1998, when I saw her give the commencement address at my alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross. This commencement address later was developed into a book: Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out into the Real World . Because I wasn't actually the one graduating (some of my younger friends were), I was actually paying attention to what she had to say, and I was still close enough to being a graduate that her words had an impact on me, which they did. I left that ceremony with a powerful feeling in my heart and a sense of renewed purpose. I ended up getting a transcript of the speech from Holy Cross over the summer, but the gist of it is this:
Maria Shriver's top ten list of things she wishes she had been told at her college graduation:
● Pinpoint your passion.
● No job is beneath you.
● Who you work for and with is as important as what you do.
● Your behavior has consequences.
● Be willing to fail.
● Superwoman is dead.
● Children do change your career.
● Marriage is hard work.
● Don’t expect anyone else to support you financially.
● Laughter and a sense of humor about yourself will smooth the road before you.
Shriver concluded by saying, "There you have it - My report from the fighting front of the graduate from a Catholic university out there making it day-by-day in the real world. . . . As you step out of Holy Cross and into the rest of your lives, I know you're wondering whether that jittery feeling in your gut is excitement or just plain fear of the future. Believe me, it's probably fear. But I want you to remember what someone wise just told me: Courage is walking through fear with faith. I wish all of you the faith and courage to pinpoint your passion, to get out there, be free, and achieve it. Congratulations."

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