Looking at the ol’ calendar and traffic around the University where I work, I can tell that it is High School Graduation Season. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give some advice that I would have liked to have gotten when I graduated from high school.
The first is a piece of advice that was given to me by one of my grad school professors. I am blatantly ripping this off from him, but he also encouraged me to steal any good advice I come across and use it for my own. (Also: Shakespeare stole everything he ever wrote.) And it’s this: Don’t be a tourist.
What that means is this: Participate. Don’t just go along for the ride. Too often going along for the ride means going places you don’t want to go. No one really WANTS to be a tourist. Except maybe Johnny Depp in that one movie with Angelina Jolie. But let’s face it, for Angelina Jolie many of us would sell out our deepest held values.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Don’t be a tourist. Look around during Spring in Washington DC. Tourists are everywhere. They stand in front of you on escalators, then stop right at the top so you can’t get where you’re going. (I saw one screaming at a Metro attendant that the train that left “wasn’t full” all while blissfully unaware that every person in that station could catch fire and he just wouldn’t care.)
You want to take charge of the action. Bruce Willis saved lives in several Die Hard movies because he didn’t wait for the terrorists to come to him. He could have been the tourist in each of those situations. (Now that you mention it, he really was in the wrong place at the wrong time…) You have to be the Bruce Willis in each situation you encounter. If you go to college, be the Bruce Willis of that situation. If you choose not to, be the Bruce Willis of that situation.
It’s all about making your voice heard.
Yippee Kay Yay.