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Yale 62

Bits & Pieces for a Good Life
A light-hearted flight of fancy and wisdom in the form of a graduation address for the Class of 2062 – a full century after our own graduation.

By Lee V. Bakunin

As we open our minds of old stories, a new world opens up, a mysterious feeling of joy slips in, our intuitions grow sharper, we become braver, take more risks, do things which might be right or might be wrong, we can’t be sure, but we do them anyway.

— Paulo Coehlo, The Zahir

Welcome, Yale Class of 2062!

You are the 358th Class to receive opening remarks as you embark on your journey to shape your world of tomorrow.

The legacy you will leave starts now.

Memories, experiences, successes and failures.

I’ve shied away from pontificating or providing you with a list of do’s and don’ts for success. Because… you will do it your way and far be it from me to tell you to change what you believe works or doesn’t work for you. Still working on my stuff. I’m not there yet. You are probably in a better position to offer a suggestion or two to me than the other way around.
If you were to give me a pep talk, perhaps you might say the following:

Living a good life is all about how you look at life and yourself – to find how marvelous you are – and to avoid those who say it ain’t.

Look at how marvelous and wonderful you were at birth – full of hopes, dreams and aspirations, ready to contribute, even if it was through the voices of others before you took your first breath. Be proud of that moment to be above ground. Even if your circumstances were meager.

Be thankful for the opportunities that came your way, that you created, sometimes out of nothing, and those that you ignored.

Give up the Past, leave the Future to where it belongs. Give yourself the Gift of the Present.

Did you know that every twinkle in the Universe counts? I am a twinkle, you are a twinkle, we are all twinkles, capable of light, joy and happiness as we shine in those moments between the flickers.

Life is lived and experienced in those moments. How you feel & think & believe & act & propel yourself forward. You lead your own parade, so don’t let anybody or anything rain on it or tell you you’re not marvelous. Be the drum major for you and others: give yourself and them a pat of the back, a hug or a high-five. Texting “hello” on your cell phone is a poor substitute for looking someone in the eye and saying “I love you” or “you’re the greatest!”

To be in the now is to be in the know that your twinkle adds substance to your health and well-being as well as all others on your path.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. You already made your entrance on stage when you emerged from the womb. If you are looking for a script, forget it. The beauty of life is that you get to write it, direct it, produce it, finance it, star in it, assemble the cast of characters, design the set and scenery, sell tickets, market and publicize it, write the reviews, tweak the story and create periodic updates.

Others may leave before the end of an act or intermission. Still others may refuse to show up or demand a refund of their ticket. Don’t worry about them. You aren’t the one-all, be-all and end-all, Superman or Superwoman. If you were, you’d have been born with a cape and wearing tights.

Some in your audience will cheer you on, maybe toss a few bouquets of flowers or ask you to appear in their production. Some may even ask to contribute their talents or resources.

Just keep on truckin’, beating your own drum and humming to your own special tune. You are the starlight, the can-do, the one and only, the greatest because you are a: Marvelous Me.

I love and support you just the way you are in all your magnificence.

Thank you for those words of encouragement.
I love you too.
Lee V. Bakunin
Copyright August 6, 2019

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