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Unusual Graduation Advice

Hi Orion,

You were just starting middle school when I began taking weekly bus trips to see you. I loved being there when you got out of school and making dinner for your family. Doing this has given me the gift of seeing you grow up—one week at a time.

When your little sister arrived, you accepted less of me, but at the same time the demands on you were increasing. I watched you balance school sports and a heavy class load.

The hardest was watching you recover from the loss of your best friend in that horrible accident caused by a drunk driver.

The best part was seeing your smile—even when you smiled only because I needed it.

You were just beginning to enjoy high school when Covid restrictions had students staying home for the rest of the school year.

You’ve navigated horrific loss, cancelled sports seasons, and online schooling.

Week by week you got taller, stronger, and dealt with all the changes in you and around you.

Now you’re graduating. There will be plenty of advice for your future—such as, “You can go anywhere and do anything.” Or this: “Find something you love to do and get paid for it, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s the same advice I heard long ago.

So, here’s my unusual graduation advice:

There’s one thing that will make your future the most successful, and make you wealthy in the best way:


You already have this love. I feel it in your spontaneous hugs. I see it in your eyes. You prioritize people over things. Just keep cultivating your love. It’ll keep growing. Give it away freely. Love is an investment that yields more returns than a lifetime of work ever will.

Yes, you’ll be working too, but love makes all your work matter—no matter what your work ends up being.

I’m just amazed how those weekly trips went by so fast.

I love you.



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