Last night, we went to the graduation ceremony for City Year Miami. When Brad got up to speak, he told the graduates that when he was 22 years old and graduating from the University of Michigan, he entered the schoolwide competition to be the graduation speaker. He lost, never even making the second round. But as he said last night, he's a stubborn bastard. He is. And then he reached into his pocket and pulled out the speech that he'd waited nearly 20 years to give. See below. Back then, the term Gen-X wasn't even invented, but his words are as relevant now as they were then (and does it sound like him, or what?). Just some fun to remind us when we were young.
Feel free to send to others, of course...
Chase Your Dreams; Find Your Road Runner
By Brad Meltzer, age 22
The media loves to speculate about what our generation will accomplish. They call us the "Television Generation" or "The Baby-busters." Above all else, the media loves to report that our generation, aged 18-25, will be the first generation in history to have less than our parents. I cannot express how much this annoying little factoid bothers me.
I do not question the economic principles on which this prediction is based; rather, I am concerned about the consequences of the statement. It is both silly and bothersome to hear anyone "tell" us what we will be. The logical flaws alone are staggering. How can they know what our generation will accomplish when so many of our future leaders are still sitting here, awaiting graduation? It is as if they are trying to write that widely read year-in-review article before the year takes place.
They don't know our capabilities or the extent of our ingenuity. They simply base their "prediction" on the assumption that our limits are equal to the limits of their generation. They are wrong. This is a new generation. Graduates, it is "our" generation, and we differ from all others. Granted, we may have lower national math scores, and lower geographical knowledge. Certainly, there is some truth to the notion that we will not have the same economic advantages that our parents had. Yet, that does not mean that we will necessarily have less than our parents. Let the world know - we will not be counted out. I am confident we will surprise them. We have a different type of knowledge; more street-smart and clever. We are imaginative and more ingenious.
Creativity is an elemental force of nature. Use that force in whatever you decide to do. Whether you choose law, medicine, business, teaching, or any of the other limitless doors that are open to you, show the world - our time has come - we have arrived, and we will not be easily defeated.
As we face graduation, do not be scared of the future. Embrace it. Do not weather the storm. Control it. Make the most of your time, and we will make the best of our generation.
For the past two decades, we have seen Wile E. Coyote chase the ever-elusive Road Runner. For twenty years, we have known that he will never be able to catch him; yet, we still continue to watch. No matter how impossible our dreams might be, we must all practice the childhood lessons of Wile E. Coyote. Be persistent as you chase your own dreams, so that you may one day find your Road Runner.
Thank you, and good luck to you all. Go Blue.