Welcome friends, family members, residents of Chicago and environs.
This is the commencement season.
They have already begun, these solemn ceremonies, grand processions and groaning brass overtures, at institutions great and small, and will continue for a month and a half, from Loyola University Chicago, all this week, until ... Northwestern University, bringing up the rear, Friday, June 22.
I'll be at NU, seeing the younger boy off into the world. But first, I'll be at Pomona College in California. Two boys, two commencements, boom-boom, one after another. Because the younger lad flashed through college in three years, itself a lesson on the value of paternal advice, since, when he raised the idea, I urged him to linger and enjoy college. You'll have a lifetime to work.
He shrugged and did what he wanted. That's what kids do.
Leading to my first piece of advice for commencement goers: don't give advice. Really, don't. The grads don't want to hear it, probably won't hear it, and you're giving it anyway, not based on their lives, but yours. We pretend we're trying to spare them our mistakes, but what we're really doing is trying to pick the music for a party we're not invited to.
No matter. Advice will be given. Speakers famous and obscure will don black robes and puffy velvet hats, and share wisdom. Dream dreams. Live life.
But what about the audience? Who speaks of our hopes?
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