Here's a passage I've already seen heavily quoted:
"So now I’m going to try to give all of you some advice as if I contained fatherly wisdom, which I do not. I contain mostly caffeine, Cheet-o dust, fear and scotch."
"First off: Reputation, Posterity and Cool are traps. They’ll drain the life from your life. Reputation, Posterity and Cool = Fear.
Let me put that another way. Bob Hope once said, “When I was twenty, I worried what everything thought of me. When I turned forty, I didn’t care what anyone thought of me. And then I made it to sixty, and I realized no one was ever thinking of me.” And then he pooed his pants, but that didn’t make what he said any less profound.
Secondly: The path is made by walking. And when you’re walking that path, you choose how things affect you. You always have that freedom, no matter how much your liberty it curtailed. You…get to choose…how things affect you.
And lastly, and I guarantee this. It’s the one thing I know ‘cause I’ve experienced it:
There Is No Them. "
I've given two graduation speeches in my life and for the life of me I can't remember what either of them were about. I bet they seemed trenchant to me at the time. But at the time I was 17-21 years old. And I really didn't know shit, quite frankly. I wonder what advice I would give now. I like to think it it would be simple. Information you can use. I think I would tell the graduates, "When you're flying on an airplane and they ask if you'd like anything to drink, tell them you'd like a can of Coca-Cola. If you just ask for a coke, they'll just give you a plastic cup of mostly ice and you won't be sated. Ask for the can and they'll give you the cup, the ice, AND the can. Then you're sitting pretty, my friend."
So what advice, practical or not, would you give graduates?
Also, for extra credit, Patton contains caffeine, Cheet-O dust, fear, and scotch. What do you contain?