Reality Check w/ John Tracy: A message to the Class of 2016
My daughter Taylor is graduating from college this weekend.
Like any proud parent, I will be there with my box of Kleenex. While others will see a confident young woman, ready to take on the world, I will see my little girl — in those halcyon days, before she discovered pop-culture, the internet and boys.
Well, in all of my years as a talking head I’ve never been invited to give a commencement address. So, with your indulgence, I’d like to speak to my daughter and her fellow graduates.
Congratulations Class of 2016.
Though it feels like the end of a journey, the fact is you’ve just made it to the starting line.
If I can tell you anything, it is that life will take you to unexpected places. Take risks. It’s how your mom and dad ended up in Alaska, and you wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t.
Colonel Norman Vaughan said to dream big and dare to fail. You should listen to people who live to the age of 100.
We, your parents, the sons-and-daughters of America’s greatest generation, have left you with a dysfunctional political system, a shrinking middle class, and a crippling national debt.
And while social security might not be available for you, your mom and I are counting on you to finance our retirement.
No matter where you end up, you will always be an Alaskan. And that’s something to be proud of.
But the Alaska you are inheriting is not the same one in which you grew up. You will have difficult choices to make. I hope your choices are influenced by your vision, as much as our choices have been influenced by our memories.
So whether your future is in Alaska or someplace else in the world, remember it is said you can’t go home again. In your case, that is true. Your mother has turned your bedroom into an art studio.
But if it helps, on this special day, I leave you with the three words my father said to me that come so easily from parent to child. Three simple words you will repeat to your own children someday.
Get a job.
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