05 June 2015

A Commencement Address to the Class of 2015

ON AN OTHERWISE EXHILARATING THURSDAY EVENING, after finally bidding the world my daily goodbye, I lay on my bed, writhing in excruciating pain of which I could only barely discern the origin.

After drudging through a 15-minute self-examination in my bathroom, I plodded, 10 steps in the hallway, until I reached my mother’s bed, on which I forced myself to lean, slowly moaning, “Mom, wake up… Mom, I twisted a ball.”

She looked at me, chuckling until she discovered the tears gliding across my unshaven face. Within minutes, she guided me into the Glenbrook Hospital Emergency Room Reception Center, where I waited for half an hour until a doctor could see me — apparently, someone had a cold. After three doses of morphine, 300 ultrasound images of my scrotum, and three hours of the most embarrassingly painful moment of my life, I lay unconscious on the operating table, opened up in ways I'd never before imagined, to form the most stressful moment of my mom’s life.

Without voicing too many details, all turned out well; I can still have children one day.
*     *     *     *     *

I’m sure you all are curious as to why I relayed this traumatic memory on this very day, but it really merits three lessons for all of you:

The first: someone — or possibly several people — is relying on you and will continue to do so, even in the darkest of moments. While deliberate cruelty may be unforgivable, rejecting the person who needs you is, comparatively, just as unrighteous, for, by doing so, you squash both their hopes for a greater future and their impressions of otherwise positive contemporary relationships. If my mom hadn't helped me when I needed her, I don't even know what I'd be right now… Probably some horrible, twisted human being, if that.

Secondly, never forget your past, including your embarrassingly miserable memories, for they are truly and unforgettably the foundation of you; by ignoring them, you live only to topple over later, at the worst of times.

Lastly, you are more than the unfortunate events riddled throughout your life; they are merely a minimal portion of your life, far outweighed by the ever-reaching significance of your benevolence.

So, go, prosper, twist testicles, be adventurous, but always remember your peers, your memories, and that you will forever be a net positive on this earth.

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