Local & State Voices

'Tip well' and other tips for you, graduates

It is once again my pleasure to address the graduating class and to congratulate you on this milestone you have long anticipated: From this day forward, you will never have to meet another hypotenuse.

Know that your mom — who spent years telling you that you're not going out dressed like that — thinks you look just great today in that goofy hat you have on. Keep it, too, because with a few minor modifications you can wear it to a royal wedding.

I am now going to offer some random advice to guide you on your grown-up journey, so feel free to take out your mobile device so someone in here can text it to you.

Two things will generally get you ahead in the workplace — show up a little early every day, and always act interested.

Sooner or later, you will encounter a bad boss. That is nature's way of telling you it's time to move on, the sooner the better.

Once a year, stop to marvel at how far you've come. Then snap out of it, and start working on how far you'll go.

Shake up the grumpy old folks every now and then. Instead of saying "No prob" the next time one of them says "Thank you," reply with, "You're welcome."

Prove that you can keep a plant alive for six months before you even think about getting a pet.

It's time you knew the truth: Bathrooms do not clean themselves.

It's probably years away, but the first sign that you're going over the hill comes that day when you realize you need your glasses to find your glasses.

If it's made in Asia and it has moving parts, buy the warranty.

Beer: $3.50. Lyft: $35. DUI: $3,500.

Please don't be that person who suffers from high self-esteem.

Tip well.

Develop a secret superpower, like pulling pennies out of children's ears, writing thank-you notes or parallel parking.

When you're old enough to get invited to dinner parties, bring wine even if you don't drink it. If you don't know anything about wine, buy a bottle of $15 French because the French won't put their name on a bad bottle.

Speeches, sermons and scoldings are best kept short.

Nature is cruel and life isn't fair. Get over it. Trust in karma.

Always remember: These are the good old days.

Carry neither grudges nor cacti. Both gnaw painfully.

Half the people in your workplace will be below average.

You will encounter people who absolutely live for drama. Distance yourself, unless you are one of those people, and then please bond with another of your tribe. And leave the rest of us alone.

Unless you're a lobbyist, never rename your business Atrium.

Dogs are nature's way of reminding us to be happy.

Sadly but statistically, the two greatest life dangers you face right now are suicide and addiction. Succumbing to either can resonate toxically among the people who know and love you, some of whom will struggle the rest of their days to find the grace to ever forgive you.

Tread lightly on the planet. It's the only one we've got. Plant trees, recycle plastic, hang a bird house.

When you fail, admit it, apologize and move on. Remember that it's not the mistake that gets people into trouble, it's the cover-up.

I am delighted to inform you that from this day forward, your parents will begin to get smarter. Molecule by molecule, they will slowly transform. By the time you get around to having kids of your own, you will find they have become downright wise.

This miracle is called Life. Go forth now and give it your best.

Mark Washburn: mwashburn76@gmail.com.

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