This is from a prompt on what to say for a commencement speech.

Dear Graduates:

 Here on the planet, at Earth School, in Dirt City, on the Blue
 Marble, advice is going to be slung at you as you leave your
 schooling behind.

 I want to tell you a few things. One, fame is an illusion, because
 it is just a mercurial moment in time and space where you are a
star
 who gleams brightly. We live in something called the Kingdom of
 Names which has to do with who we are, What We Wear, Who We Vote
 For. Consider this, maybe that’s nice, necessary, and maybe
unreal.
 Think of a wider goal. You are living in an era where you are
World
 Citizens, and either through trial and struggle, or a great
 consultative process, we the people of the nations, will go down a
 road pointed towards the Oneness of Humanity, a Golden Age spoken
of
 by prophets and seers. We will do this by today’s standards, “Boys
 will be Boys” and blow up much of the planet, leaving a postage
stamp
 somewhere by an abandoned pond on which survivors will survive, and
 abolish war forever. Better yet, we individually could all realize
 our oneness and strive together for justice and unity.

 Consider your body, it is a mass of teeming action and all parts
work
 to sustain the whole – homeostasis. Did you know that everything
in
 the spiritual world has an exact counterpart in the physical
world?
 We are carrying around a blue print for unity in diversity by the
 mere fact of our bodies operating with intelligent rhythm.

 As you leave this joyous commencement, you each will be handed a
 packet of instructions. They consist of:

 A Hopi Message
 A writing from Oriah Mountainkeeper
 A Comment from Thomas Merton
 A view from Etty Hillesum
 An excerpt from the Baha’i Writings.

 The rest is up to you.

 Thank you for allowing me to deliver this commencement address in
 record time, thus leaving no stone unturned. I suggest you reflect
 upon these handouts carefully in that some of you will be tested in
 odd ways. Perhaps strangers will come to you and offer you the
 chance of a lifetime, and the only way to accept this chance is to
 leave with this stranger, thereby not saying goodbye to all you
 love.

 Some of you in the engineering fields will have to decide how you
can
 contribute to the Earth’s Beleaguered Being, and come up with
 solutions for the healing of the Earth’s Surface.

 Mostly it is up to you to live your life independently, investigate
 truth independently, be just, know you are in the process of
becoming
 your true selves, and finally, be aware, exceedingly aware, of the
 exigencies of your time. In a phrase, power is no longer used for
 personal gain, but it is used for service. Service to humanity is
 your highest aim. May we all be blessed with your struggles and
 attainment.

 Handouts

 Hopi Elder’s Message 2001 via email to me from friend in Ohio

 To our fellow swimmers. There is a river flowing now very fast.
It
 is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid.
They
 will try to hold onto the shore; they will feel they are being torn
 apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has its
 destination. The Elders say that we must let go of the shore, push
 off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our head
 above the water. And we say, see who is there with you and
 celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing
personal,
 least of all ourselves, for the moment that we do, our Spiritual
 growth and journey come to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is
 over. Gather yourselves. Banish the word struggle from your
 attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a
sacred
 manner and in celebration. We are the ones we have been waiting
for.

 Share this.
 ———–
 Invitation
 Oriah Mountain Dreamer
 It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know
what
 you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s
longing.
 It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will
 risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the
adventure
 of being alive.
 It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want
to
 know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have
 been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and
closed
 from fear of further pain.
 I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without
 moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
 I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can
 dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of
your
 fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
 remember the limitations of being human.
 It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I
 want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If
 you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own
soul.
 If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
 I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty
every
 day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
 I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and
 still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the
 full moon, ‘Yes.’
 It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you
 have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and
 despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done
 to feed the children.
 It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I
 want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me
and
 not shrink back.
 It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I
 want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls
 away.
 I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly
 like the company you keep in the empty moments.
 ———–
 “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I
like
 to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in
 detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for
 the things I want to live for. Between those two answers you can
 determine the identity of any person.”

 Thomas Merton, from the Man in the Sycamore Tree

 Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life, An entry dated August 20, 1941,
 states:

 “You must continue to take yourself seriously, you must remain your
 own witness, marking well everything that happens in this world,
 never shutting your eyes to reality. You must come to grips with
 these terrible times, and try to find answers to the many questions
 they pose. And perhaps the answers will help not only yourself but
 also others.”


 Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of
 the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and
 friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the
rich,
 an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of
 thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be
 unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp
unto
 them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the
 thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of
the
 victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all
 thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a
 tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a
 guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the
 countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of
 the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of
mankind,
 an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of
 virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean
of
 knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of
 wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit
 upon the tree of humility (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings
 of Baha’u’llah, p. 285)

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