News and Tribune

June 7, 2014

DODD: My advice to graduates

Local columnist

— Graduation came late this year, as did my annual advice to graduates column. Congratulations and good luck. I hope you enjoy my musings on life and your place in it at this time.

Keep a diary of everything you do in the next 10 years and read it when you have kids of your own.

Somebody is going to find you a fascinating person.

A really good guide to parenting is to remember your own life at the same age as your kids are at any given time.

Eat all the ice cream you can before it starts making you fat!

Just because you’ve known somebody a long time doesn’t mean they are your friend.

Marriage can be a prison or an escape. Neither is a good reason to do it.

Be yourself and you will most likely be happy.

There was culture, art, music, and life before 1996.

Stop and smell the bacon.

Death is neither to be feared nor anticipated, but rather as motivation to make the best of life.

Enjoy the game just because you can play it.

Life’s happiest moments can never be planned or anticipated.

Good deeds not in search of praise or credit are done for the right reason.

Everything you do that is bad for your body today will show up 40 years from now.

Abuse your body while you can enjoy it and get away with it.

Life can be a ride-a-long or you can be the driver.

Sometimes you have to be a little bit selfish to accomplish good things for yourself.

Good looks are as fleeting as time itself.

One day you will miss your grandparents more than you can imagine.

Graduation is not the end of anything but the beginning of everything.

Laughing out loud is a necessity for good health — both physical and mental.

Get outside your comfort zone on a regular basis and you will find a new comfort zone.

Anyone can get a job but successful people find a career.

Most people had to work a boring and mundane job while searching for something else in life.

Just because it’s harder for you than for someone else doesn’t make it any less possible to achieve.

Always allow new people to enter your life.

When you discover your first real love you will discover who you really are.

You should make as many friends and as few enemies as possible in life. Both of these goals can be hard to achieve.

Some people will not like you and it won’t be because of you. Some people won’t like you and it will be because of you. Evaluate yourself on a regular basis to know which the real reason is.

Every now and then go off by yourself and have a good cry.

Life is real hard, but you can make it really harder.

Traveling is the best way to understand the world.

Everyone should be a writer. It’s cathartic and someone will enjoy reading it.

You will never fully understand yourself because life will insure that you are constantly changing.

Walk through a cemetery and read the headstones sometimes for a reality check.

All religion involves morality but not all morality involves religion.

Your dreams are exclusively yours. Don’t let anyone else try to awaken you from them.

Every now and then it’s OK to put your face in a book.

If your gut tells you it is wrong, it probably is.

Making your parents proud is a very worthy goal.

Rules are not only made to be broken but should be changed according to the changing stages in your life.

Every new direction in life involves a sad good-bye.

Memories are the book of your life and all the chapters should make you smile or cry and sometimes both and for the same reason.

You will eventually lose many of the most important people in your life or they will lose one of theirs.

There are no guarantees in love or life.

Try before you buy can save a lot of problems in a lot of different categories in your life.

You should never keep anyone in your life simply because they are needy.

Hard work is essential for success but if misguided can just as easily lead to failure.

Comedians are really our best philosophers.

If someone offends you make sure you analyze things to insure that you are not too easily offended.

Not all of life’s problems have solutions.

You will win and you will lose. There are no perfect records in life.

The hardest balance involves sticking to your principles while keeping an open mind.

You can love someone and not like them.

Money is to success as marriage is to obligation if they both lack passion and happiness.

A smile is infectious and there are no antidotes.

— Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at