Our Graduation Gift to You: Advice from the Wisest Americans

What would the wisest Americans like to tell today’s college and high school graduates? From our surveys of over 1200 older people (most in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond) here are a few gems for those heading out to college or to the “real world.” Like the elders themselves, their advice is by turns serious and funny. Pass these on to the graduates in your lives.

Remember that life is short.  When you’re tired sleep. When you’re hungry eat.  Better yet — eat, drink and be merry.  And do good things for others along the way.  It makes everybody feel better.

Save your money, take care of yourself, play golf.

God don’t like people that mess around where they ain’t supposed to be. I know he put it out there for you to do if you want to do it, but he don’t tell you to do it.

I think stick with your beliefs but listen to other people’s sides. A couple of times I think I even voted for Democrats.

Stay out of trouble, steer clear of other people’s wives.

When there’s a “problem,” it’s more helpful to assume it’s yours than someone else’s. Yours you can fix. Someone else’s you can’t.

It’s important to have heroes, to have a “throw back your head laughing” sense of humor, to keep your word so that you can be utterly relied upon, to speak and write thoughtfully and well, and to have good manners.

Learn new things, don’t sit back and stagnate. I’ve got to admit that we just got a new computer and it still terrifies me. I couldn’t even program anything and I’m a damn mechanic! And here comes an eight year old boy who can work it so well.

We’re better off to love, I guess, than we are to hate.

I guess the advice I would give to younger generations is this: Examine your life; truly examine it; find out who you  really are. Don’t fear to follow where your life takes you. The result can be an incredible symphony. The journey may be difficult, the path steep, but in the end it will be worth it. You can live a fulfilling, peaceful, and happy life. The answer is within.

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