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My commencement advice? Go forth, grads — but first, lose those saggy pants

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 —

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to give one of those high school graduation commencement speeches. You know, where you put on a cap and gown and stand up in front of a whole graduating class and tell them what you think they need to know about life and how they should go about having a good one. But the last time I did any public speaking my daughter told me my nose twitched the whole time from being nervous, so I probably wouldn’t make much of a commencement speaker. Anyway, it’s still fun to think about what I would like to tell a gymnasium full of graduating high school seniors who weren’t allowed to leave until I was through, and I think it would go something like this:

Let me begin my remarks this evening with some long ago words from Socrates: “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority. They show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents and chatter before company. They gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

Socrates’ buddy, Plato, went ever further, writing “What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders and disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”

And some guy named Hesiod, who lived about four centuries before Socrates and Plato were even born, threw up his hands in disgust and said, “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words.”

So, it would seem that for as long as there has been recorded history, old people (even wise ones) have been convinced that young people were going to screw up the world as they knew it. Yet, for better or worse, the human race is still here, so young people must be doing something right.

Okay, this is the place in my speech when I am supposed to tell you to live up to your potential, follow your bliss, and make a difference in the world. But since I assume all of you will be trying to do those things, I will skip all of that and just pass along the following specific advice:

Be kind, especially to yourself. Life is a tough go and it’s really true that in the end, only kindness matters.

Be generous, with both your time and your money. You were really blessed to be born in such a free and wealthy country and you need to give back whenever possible.

Don’t suffer fools gladly, even if they are related to you. The fools of this world are full of negative energy and eager to weigh you down and make you heavy. You need to get them out of your life as soon as possible.

For all of you guys out there who have spent much of the past four years strolling through hallways and referring to the girls you passed as bitches, whores, and worse, you might want to start knocking that off, since those young girls that you so easily disrespect are soon going to be your wives and the mothers of your children. Not to mention that you might have daughters yourself someday.

[adrotate group=”9″]   For those of you who habitually use cuss words as adjectives, know that your future employers are going to demand that you have a much better grasp of the English language. Oh, and the last I looked, there is no good-paying job on earth (unless you are really good at rapping) that will allow you to show up at the office with your pants falling off your butt.

Remember that before anything really magical can happen in your life, you have to imagine it first.

Try not to spend too much time watching the news, especially Fox News. We don’t need more Dittoheads in this world.

Make time to go down roads that go nowhere, or at least go walkabout on some of the ones that have been less traveled.

To all of you who aren’t too interested in politics, you need to be. If you don’t vote, know that those who always do are old and set in their ways and often could care less about the things that are going to shape your lives, like climate change, the cost of entitlement programs, and the global economy. Plus our elected politicians always seem to love to start new wars, and you are going to be the ones who are sent off to distant places to fight and die in them, assuming of course your generation is brave enough to insist that we stop having an all-volunteer army to do our dirty work for us.

Never stop being curious. It may kill cats, but it’s what keeps human beings truly alive and well.

For those of you who are in love with credit cards, you need to know that compound interest can be your best friend, or your very worst enemy.

Remember that life is never fair or just and that it belongs to those who are willing to risk.

And most important of all, put your computer games, iPhones, and other electronic gadgets down every now and then and look into the faces of others!

_________________

  Daryl can be reached at:
daryl@news-ledger.com

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MADD honors prosecutor, local cop

Jonathan Raven, a Yolo County Prosecutor honored by 'Mothers Against Drunk Driving.' (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney's office)

Jonathan Raven, a Yolo County Prosecutor honored by ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving.’ (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney’s office)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 —

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has given its “Prosecutor of the Year” award in California to Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney in Yolo County. The award “is presented to one prosecutor who has made a significant impact in one or multiple cases and worked closely with MADD,” reports the office of District Attorney Jeff Reisig.

Judy Utter, a senior victim services specialist for MADD, said she saw Raven make a difference in a local case in which a family lost their daughter in a DUI accident.

“The judge was ready to let the defendant out of custody when Jonathan stood up and cited a new constitutional amendment giving victims the right to speak out at bail hearings,” said Utter, quoted by the D.A.’s office. “Jonathan spoke with me and the mom outside and the mom made a passionate statement to the judge in open court. The judge did not let the defendant out of custody.”

At the same recent award ceremony, several regional police officers were honored by MADD for fighting impaired driving. They included West Sacramento officer Matt Boudinot.

 

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Free local orchestra concert Sunday

West Sacramento Community Orchestra (News-Ledger file photo)

West Sacramento Community Orchestra (News-Ledger file photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER NEWSPAPER —

The West Sacramento Community Orchestra invites you to a free concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, at the civic center galleria (1110 West Capitol). On the program are Buck’s “Festival Overture,” Fillmore’s “Lassus Trombone,” Custer’s “Star Trek Through The Years” and a tribute to Elvis by Ricketts, among other selections.

The orchestra will also play at 7:30 p.m. on June 11 at Centennial Methodist Church at 5401 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. For information, call 991-5262.

[adrotate group=”9″]Copyright News-Ledger 2013

West Sacramento school board plans special, strategic meeting

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 7, 2013 —

West Sacramento’s public school district announced yesterday they will hold a special strategic session on Saturday. The meeting will cover “governance team building” as well as “goals, objectives, policies and priorities” for the school board and district.

The special session begins at 9 a.m. on June 8 in Room 75 at the Washington Unified School District office, 930 Westacre Road. It is a public meeting.

A facilitator from the California School Boards Association will assist the discussion.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013