I love commencement addresses. The pithy bits of wisdom dispensed, the tingle of excitement in the air, the graduates all giddy with anticipation in their decorative hats. Funny thing, I can’t remember a word that was spoken at any of those addresses where I was actually one of the graduates. Except for college. I think Forrest Baird asked us not to forget our alma mater and break out the checkbook every now and then. Check’s in the mail, Forrest. Honest.
Every now and then, usually when I’m emptying the dishwasher, I entertain myself with illusions of grandeur (mostly because I hate emptying the dishwasher) and think about what I might say given the chance to deliver a commencement address. Not that I presume to have done anything so earth-shattering as to earn a spot at the podium, mind you. And let’s face it: is fame really something to chase after? If even Reese Witherspoon can fall from her glorious pedestal than perhaps not.
But I fancy myself a word-wrangler and it’s Thursday and I need something to blog about.
As I was
coercing strongly encouraging our three year old to use the restroom this morning and he waged an epic battle that would make any general proud, it came to me. I was so proud of my own wisdom that I shared it with the little mister.
“Control is an illusion, son. Get used to it.” The sooner he figures out that I am the boss of him, the better off he’ll be. Right?
He was not impressed. In fact, he walked fifteen feet out of the bathroom and proceeded to pee in his pants.
So I guess I need to take my own wisdom to heart. You can lead a three year old to the bathroom approximately 147 times but you can’t make him go. He will fight with every fiber of his being to hold on to that last little shred of control.
I wonder, how often in life, I do the same thing? Wage an epic battle, fighting to orchestrate the details of events and circumstances that aren’t mine to control at all? Stubborn, stubborn girl.
Sometimes I think God uses unconventional means to gain our attention. A silly daydream while emptying the dishwasher or even a stubborn three year old who serves as a mirror to reflect our own selfish behavior.
Okay. I get it. Control is an illusion.
How about you? What pithy words of wisdom would you offer today’s graduate? Any lessons learned in the school of hard knocks?