An Open Letter to the Class of 2016: Pick Up Your Trash


graduationUsually advice given to a graduating class is full of inspiration and motivation so that you don’t give up once you are launched into “the real world.” This letter could be both or neither. And truth be told, you most likely won’t read this anyway. But just as I believe that some of you stop listening to me when I speak in front of your class, I will still say what I planned on saying. Not because I love listening to the sound of my voice, as soothing as it is, but because one day down the road you will be jolted back in time, and perhaps, this is the moment that you will remember. I then imagine that you will smile and shake your head, simultaneously, and say something like, “That Ms. Swisher was brilliant and knew exactly what she was saying every single time she said something.” Or, out of frustration that I am still in your head after all these years: “Damnit!” But I digress.

Pick up your trash.

I know what you’re thinking: This is impossible! How could I ever do such a thing?! And my initial response to you will be, “Of course you can! You can do anything that you set your mind to!” While my response sounds silly, your thinking is even sillier. Picking up your trash says a lot about your character, and not picking up your trash says even more. But instead of focusing on the negativity – selfishness and elitism – of the latter part, let’s focus on the positivity of the former. You see, picking up your trash shows more about you than you could ever describe in words. Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Class of 2016: Pick Up Your Trash”