How You Can Be Rich Like Me! Or, How not to give a good commencement speech.
I suppose on some personal news, I am now a graduate of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts as of 11 May 2009 and am quite happy to be out of college and into the ennui of watching movies and job hunting.
There are plenty of articles out there about how 2009 is quite possibly the worst year to graduate with all the unemployment rates, dwindling financial aid, and all around panic. Nonetheless, it is as Chesterton liked to say, “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” The post-graduation time I suppose is an adventure in trying to determine what my education was worth and what I ought to do with it. Dr. William Fahey, my college’s acting president, had a great time telling us that now was our time to justify our liberal education to a world that does not understand what it’s for.
After many years of listening to commencement speakers I am glad to say that my own commencement featured Cardinal Arinze who gave a moving speech that touched on a variety of topics and was quite a bit more memorable and honest than many other speeches I’ve heard. It is supposed that a commencement address ought to be a passsing of a secret to success for all the youth to listen to and carry with them as they leave the ivory tower. Myself, I never understood why the wealthy always feel like their sharing a secret I can’t just as easily buy at Barnes and Noble or may very well have no interest in. Do pardon me, dear reader, but having no money and greatly desiring to be out of debt may have made me a bit bitter about America’s love of wealth. All the same, I always wished that some Dominican would stand up at commencement to tell us, “The desire of all me is the happy life which is not of an ephemeral wealth and prosperity, but found only in a life devoted to God. Turn and give up all joys for wealth, for you are man and greater than the things of this world and will only find joy in the beautific vision.”