graduation

Commencement speeches to motivate you

June 11, 2012
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graduation Commencement speeches to motivate you

2012 commencement speech season

Do you remember your college graduation commencement speaker? Do you remember that moment of finally achieving what you had worked diligently (or not so diligently in some cases) to walk across that stage? Do you remember being so inspired by your commencement speaker or by that moment that you were about to burst?

My commencement speaker was Kinky Friedman when I graduated from the University of Texas, and for those of you that don’t know Kinky, he is an eccentric Texan who has penned several books, is a humorist, the loud founder of a no-kill animal rescue shelter, musician (who is well known for his “They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore” song), and yes, has political aspirations, having run for Governor of Texas. His slogans included “My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy” and “He ain’t Kinky, he’s my Governor,” and these silly slogans were put up all across the state.

The ultra conservative and proper side of my family was appalled, and I could feel their panic from nearly 300 rows down from them, while my ultra hippie side of the family was as pleased as punch. I remember he stressed that as a UT graduate, he knew the pressures we were under and we all needed to calm the hell down and take life a little less seriously now that we were free, and that maybe weed would help some of us. Maybe it wasn’t an Oprah moment, but it was very Kinky Friedman, and as a high strung person, the “relax” advice was not lost on me (although the weed part was, honestly).



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Commencement speeches are not meant to be memorized by the world, but often have nuggets of wisdom that can motivate and inspire anyone, be it a tip to relax, or as seen below, to be great, and to surround yourself with people who refuse to cheerlead you for the sake of cheerleading.

Take three minutes to watch, and tell us which speaker’s point was not lost on you:

AGBeat Chief Operating Officer: Lani, named 100 Most Influential, as well as 12 Most Influential Women in Blogging, Bashh Founder, Out and about in Austin A Lister, is a business and tech writer and startup consultant hailing from the great state of Texas in the city of Austin. As a digital native, Lani is immersed not only in advanced technologies and new media, but is also a stats nerd often buried in piles of reports. Lani is a proven leader, thoughtful speaker, and vested partner at AGBeat.