Witticisms and sage advice abound this time of year, thanks to commencement addresses. The wisdom runs the gamut from the inane to the insightful.
My favorite message was delivered by David McCullough Jr. two years ago when he spoke to graduates of the Massachusetts high school where he teaches English.
“We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement,” stated the son of the well-known historian and author. “We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece.”
A fitting addendum to McCullough’s address could focus on the latest agent of self-indulgence: cell phones.
Barth Keck is an English teacher and assistant football coach who also teaches courses in journalism and media literacy at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Email Barth here.
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