Pomp, circumstance, and inspiration

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the last week listening to graduation speakers.  In all honesty, these speakers are probably wasted on many of the graduates, who are already looking ahead to the next thing, without the perspective yet to absorb the advice.

But the speeches are inspiring for the rest of us in the audience, who have left graduation behind many years ago. They offer a quick shot of enthusiasm, possibility and hope – attributes that can be worn down by daily life. As the speakers admonished the graduates to think creatively, explore possibilities, and change the world, the advice seemed relevant to the rest of us.

The idea of embracing change and possibility is particularly apt for those of us in technology marketing.  With new technologies and channels, changing buying patterns, and rapidly evolving industries, you have to keep learning, changing and adapting – and it’s healthiest to do it with a sense of enthusiasm.  In a sense, we are all new on the job every day, as the job keeps changing right underneath us.

On a side note, my favorite commencement speech to date is one I did not witness myself, but heard retold many times in my family – Theodor Seuss Geisel’s address to Lake Forest College, “My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating Popovers.” Short, funny and sage.

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