Once again, I’m forced to decline all commencement speaking engagements1 due to my hectic schedule of investigative reporting on microwave popcorn and getting ready for summer reruns. However, I have prepared some remarks suitable for the occasion. School administrators, please direct your students to read the following.
This ceremony is called a commencement to highlight the idea that it’s not an end, but a beginning. It’s the beginning of a new life.
Or at least, that’s what they’d like you to believe. Really, it is the end. Your carefree school days are over. From here on out, it’s just going to be work and more work to make ends meet.
This is the opposite of a commencement speech in another respect. Commencement speeches are usually full of inspirational advice, telling you to aim high, and to follow your dreams. But not this one. I say now’s the time to wake up from those dreams. Forget what you love. Do something you hate. No one ever got rich doing what he or she loved.
Do you think Lady Gaga enjoys dressing up and performing her songs? Did Steve Jobs like having to design cutting edge computers and technology? Does Tom Brady enjoy playing football? Did John Malkovich choose to talk in that annoying nasal voice?
What do you think would happen if we all followed our dreams? We’d have a world full of dream followers, that’s what! Who would put the little twisties on our iPhone cables?
No. Hate is where the money is. Boring, menial, repetitive jobs. You’re not supposed to like it. That’s why it’s called “work.”
Life is not about having a good time, or doing something meaningful. It’s about being useful. And useful people are the ones who buy stuff, thus helping to enrich others.
So remember: Do what you’re told and keep your noses to the grindstone and you’ll do just fine next year in Kindergarten.