MY SPEECH TO GRADS
SPEECH THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO GRADS!
By Sandy Asper, Patch Poster | Jun 10, 2015 2:12 pm ET
Commentary: My advice to the Class of 2015 - Be curious
By Sandy Asper
June 9, 2015 | 4:13 p.m.
I will never be a graduation speaker, but if by some miracle I was asked, this would be what I would say.
While you are sitting there thinking about tonight, what you're going to wear, how the party will be, what big decisions you think you're going to have to make, focus for a minute on the only advice I am going to give you:
Yep, that's it. Be curious.
Be curious about everything. For those of you poor souls who are not naturally curious, the good news for you is that you can practice and nurture it. Far from curiosity killing the cat, it can actually make you way smarter, way more interesting and have a way better life.
And it all starts with wanting to know more.
When we are curious we see things differently. For instance, knowing more about your date tonight or your group might make you see them differently and take them out of the personality box you've put them in.
Listen, look and ask questions. It's OK to ask questions. It's not rude. People love to talk about themselves.
In one study, people were asked what they thought of curious people, and they characterized them as highly enthusiastic, energetic, talkative and interesting in what they say and do. They have a lot of interests, are confident, humorous and less likely to be insecure, timid and have anxiety.
Gallup took a survey of 130,000 from 130 nations and identified two factors that had the strongest influence on how much happiness they experienced in any given day. One was "being able to count on someone for help" and "learned something yesterday." So getting to know people and learning new stuff makes people happy.
Curiosity can make you healthier too. A 1996 study by Psychology and Aging studied more than 1,000 older adults ages 60 to 86 for five years, and found that those who were rated being more curious lived longer. They also had lower levels of disease.
Curiosity can make you smarter. A study consisting for 1,795 3-year-olds were tested, and again at age 11. They found the ones who had been highly curious at 3, later scored 12 points higher on total IQ tests compared with the others.
Here's the thing. There is going to be a point at which you will say to yourself, "Self, what is this about? What does it all mean?"
The answer is wanting to know, wanting to know about everything, being passionate about something. Find out all you can about people, art, books, places, people in those places, music, etc.
Something that might seem trivial at the time, like wondering who Lenny Bruce was, might lead you to stand-up comedians and continue your journey to what it takes to do stand-up.
Who knows, you might want to try it. The same Lenny Bruce study might take you to censorship, which might lead you to propaganda, and how that worked during World War II, and then a study of wars in general.
So as you toddle off to Grad Night, which will be wonderful, thanks to parents, and later think about what your curiosity rating is. If it doesn't come naturally, work on it. If it does, nurture it. I promise you will never be bored.
Oh, and have a great night! Be grateful to everyone who has helped you along the way, and after tonight Google how and why Grad Nights started.
SANDY ASPER lives in Newport Beach.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading,