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To the Class of 2010: Some thoughts from a conservative

Cal Thomas's picture

Looking at the list of commencement speakers this year, one finds them predictably liberal. Glenn Beck spoke at Liberty University, but that’s a conservative school.

There is Alec Baldwin, the leftist actor/activist (New York University); Anderson Cooper, news anchor at ratings-challenged CNN (Tulane University); Rachel Maddow, lefty commentator at another unwatched network — MSNBC, she spoke at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., where 25 years ago I was shouted down by a group of lesbian students. There is also Michelle Obama (George Washington University); Katie Couric (Case Western Reserve); and Meryl Streep, who The Washington Post described as “the woman that every woman, young or old, aspires to be.” Really? Streep spoke at Barnard College.

It’s been many years since I was asked to deliver a commencement address, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I might say. This would be my abridged speech to the Class of 2010:

I’ve just observed the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. When my father went to his 50th, I thought he was an old man. I don’t feel old.

Where will you be in 50 years? You can plan now. Ask people older than yourself to tell you their mistakes so you can avoid making the same ones. You will make enough of your own.

We live in a “feelings” world, not an intellectual one. “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right,” says the song lyric. Yes it can, and often is. Make economic and relational choices based on cold hard facts, not feelings. Feelings come and go. Truth remains forever.

Live within your means. There is no shame in being middle class, even poor. What is shameful is being in debt, which enslaves you to outside forces at high interest rates. Look at debtor governments, including America. Economic freedom is a precious gift. If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it to satisfy your lusts.

Marry someone who will be your partner in every way and then have children. Living together first robs you both of a great mystery. Statistics show it also reduces your chances for a successful marriage.

Your value does not lie in how much money you make, who you know or what office you hold. Make your goal more than accumulating money and buying stuff that eventually winds up in an estate sale. Contribute something to a fellow human being. Improving another life is not only a gift to that person, but to you.

Don’t forget God. There is no greater question than: “Does God exist and if He does, has He a plan for my life that I can know?” The answer determines your direction in this life and the next.

In the words of an anonymous Irish blessing:

“I wish you not a path devoid of clouds, nor a life on a bed of roses.

Not that you might never need regret, nor that you should never feel pain,

No, that is not my wish for you.

My wish for you is:

That you might be brave in times of trial,

When others lay crosses upon your shoulders.

When mountains must be climbed,

And chasms are to be crossed,

When hope can scarce shine through.

That every gift God gave you might grow along with you.

And let you give your gift of joy to all who care for you.

That you may always have a friend who is worth that name.

Whom you can trust,

And who helps you in times of sadness,

Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side.

One more wish I have for you:

That in every hour of joy and pain, you may feel God close to you.

This is my wish for you and for all who care for you.

This is my hope for you,

Now and forever.”

Now go hit the beach!

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at] ©2010 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.


As a very unwilling particapant in all aspects in the subject of your rabies article, it is really scarry however mundane it may seem. And as a person who was not merely a witness but a actual involved party i.e. took rabies shots. Your article was the most inaccurate specimen I have seen. If you had watched the news, you would at least may have developed some Questions due to the variance in substance. Only to itimize a few points as seems to have been provided from the Tyrone Police Dept. It might interest you in knowing no one provided the police any assistance incontaning the fox under the pallets, primarilly because the police wern't even there, and when they were, only the gentlemen that shot the fox and the officer that carried the shotgun provided help. We contained the fox until it excaped into the building, with no help from the Tyrone Police Dept. except a few dissaperances. I have had the utmost respect for our public servants and want to give all credit due, but pure fabrication of facts does not abode well in my crop. If you don't know, don't fabricate no matter how inconsiquencil,it will earn you no respect you desirve. this is only in referenc to only a small portion of what could be cited. I prefer to end examples here. Tyrone P.D. our who ever else responsile you should be ashamed fabrication does not earn you more respect!

more respect is to stay off these blogs till you educate yourself in English grammar.

First of all I am interested in fact. obviously I was educated different from you as I was not brought up to think English grammer was my mothers mother. Stick to the facts, diversion is the fall back for either the idiot or the uneducated!

I think PTCGOIL's point was not to create a diversion from your post's possible meaning, but to ask you to follow some simple spelling and grammatical rules that you should have learned in third grade. I might have been interested in your post if I could have understood it. A spell-check program can be your friend.

As it is, your post is illegible. That means I can't read it because of all the misspelled words and random, strung-together phrases.

I accept. Try to do better next time. (fmr tech A U D I T O R) Thanx

I Will Try to use spellcheck in this program.



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