Students, parents, families, teachers and friends, I have been asked to deliver a message of hope to you today with the emphasis on revealing the various paths of life open to you now since you have achieved the great honor of earning a high school diploma. Whether you decide to enter the field of business, construction, politics, social welfare, sports, entertainment, further academia or the military, I stand before you to-day to offer some concrete guidelines for your consideration.
On this hallowed day now, it's up to you to decide what will be the best fit for you in the future. With the proper attitude, each one of you may embark upon your chosen destination, and with perseverance, drive and courage, go and attack the obstacles of life, forge ahead and achieve the cherished products of the adult world here in America. You will be prepped to gain your own mortgage, car payments, insurance premiums, credit cards, bank loans, hospital bills and a savings account to help ease the costs of unforeseen disasters which come to pass and to pay the I.R.S. one-third of your earnings each year. You'll be able to settle in big cities, foreign countries or even the moon. The challenges are before you. Now would be the time to decide your fate.
My advice? Stay home in the Wood River Valley with us. Be nice to your parents, pay them a nice rent on your bedroom, borrow the family car from time to time, choose two or three minimum-wage jobs, get on Facebook and witness the struggles of other graduates out in the world, ski in the winter, hike in the sum-mer, party with your friends, avoid intimate relationships and get a dog at the earliest opportunity—live and die in the mountains as we have chosen to do.
Why struggle and wait? Retire now right here in the valley and avoid the pitfalls and calamities of the modern world. I urge all of you to remain behind, aim low, stay put and make your home and destinies right here. And always remember that when you're up against it and all seems lost, you can always quit.
Nice talking to you.