“This generation is never going to accomplish the things I know it to be capable of unless we stop thinking of each other in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’…Like it or not, we’re all in this together.” ~ Ted Chalfen, from his graduation speech

Ted Chalfen, Gay Colorado Teen, Thanks Graduating Class For Support In Speech

Most of the time, graduation speeches are pretty predictable. Generation of generation of young dreamers attempting to sound erudite, use their time at the microphone to plead for a cause or to chastise a neglectful element or to reflect on life. The latter always makes me smile because I can still remember how I thought I knew so much of life when I graduated from high school lo so many years ago. The speeches usually include some kind of inside joke that the parents won’t quite understand, or some sort of grand charge for the varied members of the graduating class. Sometimes the speaker reveals a genuine sense of comedic timing, but rarely.

I don’t know if there is some unwritten rule that graduation speeches should stay within the confines of being generic, but that usually seems to be the case. I remember who gave the speeches at my graduation, but I don’t remember a single word of what they said (high school, college or graduate school).  That being said, this particular speaker and his speech are worth listening to, if only because they reflect so well on his classmates, the school, the teachers, the administrators, and the parents.

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