Carpe Diem, Seize the Day Already!

30 May

 

Last Weekend I was lucky enough to see Jenny’s little sister graduate.  After a night of partying in San Diego, we were very tired, but this was quickly replaced by the excitement of the proud parents, and family members eagerly awaiting their graduate’s big walk. 

The actual ceremony went as predicted: The family members piled in to the auditorium while the soon-to be graduates filed into their seats nervously laughing with friends, and waving to their friends and family in the stands who quickly snapped the perfect picture. We sang the national anthem, stood for the silent procession of flags, and awkwardly sang their school song. The speeches were surprisingly short and sweet with splashes of humor and seriousness. 

The part of graduations I look most forward to is the main speaker, who, because of their expertise and success, makes their best attempt to impart their life lessons to the thirsty graduates. Despite the exhausting long ceremony, I was somewhat disappointed when she said she would only be speaking for 3 minutes to move the ceremony along. At the end of her short speech she told them the lesson she wished to leave them with was “Carpe diem, seize the day!” Okay, first I get  3 minutes of what is supposed to be the most important speech of the ceremony, and now I get the most cliche line of all time? I immediately envisioned graduates all over the world, hearing the exact same line. How drab!! Where was the creativity and uniqueness? 

But then I started thinking: I don’t remember any other part of her 3 minute speech. In fact, I don’t even remember ANY part of my own 30 minute speech at my own graduation a year ago. Maybe she was on to something here. She took an important line that most of us (including myself) needed to be reminded of. How often do we forget to really “seize the day?” And by that I mean, going through our everyday routines, as if we have many left. I may have heard this line before, but I needed to be reminded of it. I need to seize the day more.. take advantage of every opportunity, go on a random trip I’ve always wanted to take, help someone in need, catch up with an old friend, do something that scares me, learn something new. 

Maybe this was a lesson, that sometimes we need to be reminded of life lessons that we have become numb to.  How many of us live everyday by the Golden Rule? Take the Road less Traveled by? Dance as though no one is watching? 

I’m glad her speech was short, otherwise I would have forgotten something that my teachers and parents preached throughout my life, as did Robyn Williams in my favorite movie, The Dead Poets Society:

Carpe Diem! Sieze the day already! Life’s a tickin…

 

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