I've sat through a LOT of commencement addresses, so this is right up my alley. What would I say to a bunch of hungover 22 year olds who haven't listened to me for four years? (I tease because I love). Here is what I would include:
1. Please thank your parents and anyone else who made a sacrifice to get you to this day.
2. Please thank your professors because they also helped to get you to this day.
3. Thank the guy who cuts the lawn, the lady at the print shop, the custodial staff, and everyone else who creates a beautiful environment to help you achieve your goals.
4. Don't forget to listen.
5. Don't forget to laugh.
6. Be thoughtful and deliberate with your words and actions.
7. Be gentle to the Earth.
8. Be gentle to yourself.
9. Life is a gift.
10. I will end with a quote from John Hiatt: "Whatever your hands choose to do, do it with all your heart."