Screw you, Class of 2014

What’s the use in listening to someone you agree with? Not a rhetorical question. I’m actually asking that, so that I can answer it for you. So it’s more of a metorical question. And here we go: In the days ahead, there will be times you’ll be tempted to change your mind. There will be times you should change your mind. And the reason you will have changed your mind is not because you set your mind to changing your mind. It will be because you encountered a thought from some other mind that changes your mind. Even from someone you think is out of her mind.

So why did you disinvite the previous 29 speakers before me?

One theory I’ve heard is that this is the last chance you have to evince control over your small campus before entering the big one. But if you’re so smart—and judging by the caps and gowns, I’m gonna make that presumption—wouldn’t the smarter move be to relinquish your tight hold on your power, to ease your transition to powerlessness? As someone who gave up long ago, it seems to me that’s your challenge here today. Be the father who slowly lets go of his son’s bike seat. Be the mother who stops monitoring her daughters Facebook posts. Don’t be the Donald Sterling who says we can take his Clippers from his cold, dead hands.

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