Life Lessons: Ten Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

Home Stager with Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY

Ahhh, it's May, and this weekend the annual wave of commencement ceremonies begins. And yes, I know, the inevitable Doonsbury comics, but that's not where we're going right now...


Unless you were Stanford '05, chances are good to excellent you have no memory of who delivered your commencement speech, or what they spoke about.

So many other thoughts in my head those days... I know I don't remember any of mine, but I do enjoy listening to thoughtful speakers, and their messages in others' speeches.

IMO, a good commencement speech is equal parts timeless and fresh, is both hopeful, and reality-based, and shares both retrospect, and vision.

Former speechwriter Charles Wheelan had his share of commencement speeches; writing them was his first job out of college. He's since moved on, and in a recent WSJ essay, he wrote of things he wished someone would have shared with Class of 1988.

Adapted from his about to be published book 10-1/2 things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said, #3-Don't make the world worse, and # 9-It's all borrowed time I thought were particularly wise.  Neither snarky or doomsday, I think most are probably things we already 'know', but are just articulated so well here.

It's a quick read, click the link above to check it out, maybe get a little re-calibrated yourself.

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Our spaces affect us profoundly...and so many other parts in our life fall into place when our spaces and possessions serve us in the best way they can. But getting there is much more than a pursuit of pleasing aesthetics.


Decorating and Staging are different, but much of the skill sets overlap, and each creates unique solutions that considers the needs, goals, resources, expectations, hopes and dreams of each client.

Bettering Westchester, Putnam and lower Fairfield counties since 1981, The Refreshed Home works collaboratively, and brings a thoughtful approach to the creative process. Proud to make a difference, as well as make a living. Offering specialty services such as remote and buyer consults, listing photo/video styling, guided and accompanied shopping, and accessory rental. We get in, get out, and you get on with your life.  Talk to me TODAY about how we can better your space!




Marie Graham ASP, IAHSP, IDS Your Stager With A Mission!

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David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

LOL funny post. I guess your right I dont recall who gave ours nor did I pay attention!?!? I just thought that was me maybe its almost everyone...


May 03, 2012 09:05 PM #1
Fred Griffin
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Good grief, can you imagine the honor [of even remembering] that Steve Jobs gave your commencement speech?  

Thanks for the Link!

May 03, 2012 09:08 PM #2
Eric Peltier
Eric Peltier - Premier Mortgage Group - Boulder Colorado - Boulder, CO
Mortgage Lender in Boulder CO

I didn't even go to Commencement.  I guess that shows how much I loved the School I attended and graduated from.......

May 03, 2012 09:08 PM #3
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Hey David-'you are not alone' on this one...I mean, that day was all about US, right?

FRED! I know!! Personal, engaging, focused, and all in less than 15 minutes, that is one heck of a speech!

Eric-whenever our  'back then' was, we were were all different from the grown up us...

May 03, 2012 09:18 PM #4
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Very cool post.........I did click on the link and read what he had to say.  Great points presented with some humor.

May 04, 2012 01:48 AM #5
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson - Hudson Valley Homes for Sale

I graduated from the University of Miami in 1976 with a BS in Nursing. Our speak was Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross.. Yes.. i do remember her name.. WHY? because is has her PHd in Nursing and her focus is on Death and Dying.... all five stages. Mind you this was who they chose to speak at a graduation for the entier University... SERIOUSLY?? Death and Dying?? and no it was not an uplifting speech.. but i do remember who she was.... weird...

May 04, 2012 03:25 AM #6
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Roger-yes! #10-Don't try to be great-I thought was both very funny and spot-on.

Janis-that IS weird. VERY weird choice. Maybe a better choice would have been the comedian from All That Jazz who provided the backdrop to Roy Schider's in-denial Bob Fosse by going through those stages...also weird I would think of a MOVIE connection-must be the MUCCI INFLUENCE, wanting to keep that great contest going LOL!


May 04, 2012 04:44 AM #7
Kevin Guttman 877-251-9709
Fairway Mortgage Corp. NMLS#384936 - Colorado Springs, CO
Home Finance Advisor-Working By Referral

Love it!

This is great.

Thank you.


May 04, 2012 08:27 AM #8
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

I didn't attend my college graduation, so I have no idea who spoke or what they said.  I had finished courses six months earlier and had already been swallowed up by the real world.

May 04, 2012 09:31 AM #9
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource
Marie, I've always liked that quote about not making the world worse...I remember it slightly different: "don't add to the problems of the world".
May 04, 2012 07:57 PM #10
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Kevin-glad you enjoyed, thanks for stopping by!

Chris-and it hasn't let go, since, right? 

NICK!  Yet again, we are on the same page...

May 04, 2012 08:04 PM #11
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Marie Graham

Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager
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