Surrounded by the pomp and circumstance of a university convocation Maxine Stanley had some simple words of advice for the graduates of Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland on Thursday morning.
“No matter where life takes you, there are some pretty simple philosophies I highly recommend to fill your life with meaning, purpose and satisfaction,” said the
Grand Falls-Windsor a music teacher, just moments after being presented with an honorary doctor of laws degree during the university’s fall convocation at the arts and culture centre in Corner Brook.
“All my life I have been taught to give,” she said. “And it’s what you should do.”
She told the graduates to always be themselves, to not lie to themselves or pretend to be something they are not.
“Life is too short to be anything but yourself,” she said.
She told them to be positive, to look for the good in everyone, to avoid negativity and confrontations and to be kind.
“Words are very powerful and once spoken the damage is done,” she said.
And in the world of social media, she said, it’s easy to type before you think.
She encouraged them to think of what they could do and not what they can’t, and to not be afraid to try.
She advised them to be mannerly and respectful and not to look down on someone who has less than them or be intimidated by someone who has more than them.
Above all she told them to find their passion.
“I was lucky enough to find my passion ... so will you.”
All her words were things the graduates had probably heard many times over and should know by now.
“But they don’t,” Stanley said after the ceremony.
So it was important for her to repeat them.
“Because I don’t think they hear it enough.”
Stanley said in this day of social media the graduates needed to be reminded that it’s the simple things in life that are the important ones.
“And I knew these were still children in my eye, a lot of them, and they needed a simple message.”