It’s possible that future anthropologists will look back on our civilization and conclude that all our wisdom was collected in our commencement speeches. Every year around this time, at podiums across America, people attempt to send our young adults off into the world with a bit of hard-won knowledge so they won’t have to win it themselves.
Presumably, that’s what happened at both of my graduations. I don’t recall. In high school, I’m pretty sure the speaker was a young woman who got good grades and who said something about achieving our dreams. My wife gave the commencement speech at her high school, but even she can’t remember a thing she said.
At my college graduation, the speaker may have been a semi-famous writer who had penned a book about faith and the prairie. I assume she gave some sort of meditation on flatness, but all I can remember is that her speech itself felt like driving across North Dakota.