Friday, December 10, 2010

My commencement address to the acorns (aka "Nature's law students")

Good afternoon, acorns. We are gathered here today, and there are so, so many of you gathered <pause for laughter>, to celebrate your future, which begins now. The world you enter today is a place of uncertainty. Technology, the economy and social structures are evolving all over the world, even as we speak, dramatically impacting us all. Well, not so much you, since you're acorns. Very few of those things will affect your futures in the slightest way, at least directly. As a result, your future has actually been pretty much determined well before you were born.
Now, while it's true that each and every one of you here today possesses all the necessary attributes it takes to become a mighty oak tree, it is also true that most of you will not achieve that status. This might seem like sad, sobering news...and maybe it is, to you. But not for the rest of us. In fact, we're kinda counting on it.
You see, oak trees are massive things. They're one of nature's most impressive creations. But they're so massive and impressive that we can't possibly accommodate all of your wishes to become one. Look how many of you are here on this tiny plot of land right now. Now look how many oak trees are already here, like the one you just fell from. There simply isn't the need.
Now take a look around at your fellow classmates: the odds are, thankfully, that they're not going to make it. Now look at yourself: neither are you, God willing. See, the system we have in place allows any individual to be successful, but can not sustain itself if every individual is successful. So not only does everybody not get to be an oak tree, almost nobody gets to be one. Sorry.
However, we do have squirrels that need to eat, as well as other wild animals, like raccoons. Do raccoons eat acorns? I don't even know. But I guess you'll find out. The lucky ones, anyway. Many of you won't even achieve the status of foodstuff for rodents. You'll be stepped on, run over by cars, washed down storm drains, rendered into pulpy mush. But you're completely bio-degradable and for that, we thank you. Stay green!
In closing, and to sum up, I just want to say that as much as we appreciate the majesty of a beautiful, soaring oak tree, what we really need from most of you, almost all of you, in fact, no, scratch that, I really mean every single last one of you, is to fail and fail miserably. I have no doubt that you will.
Thank you and good luck...but not really.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

I love this.