Graduation is a time of bittersweet memories, an exciting time of transition for new graduates and an emotional hurdle for some parents. Graduation speeches are full of inspiring messages about every topic from making your mark in the world to change and prosperity. My son’s graduation speaker grabbed the kids’ attention by getting them to chant back key messages throughout his speech. They responded so many times, the responses became automatic and involuntary. He kept it up, cleverly casting out one last cheer tricking the crowd into cursing. The message: You have been following the school rules up until now. It is time to make your own decision and sometimes that means breaking the rules! Clever. It was fun watching them giggle in the school gym, giggling as they caught themselves regurgitating something that would have netted them detention just a week ago.
To celebrate graduation here are 20 inspiring quotes for those setting out new paths. Keep giving in your heart as you go and find a way to give when possible.
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
“The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.” ~ Zig Ziglar
“My father, a bookkeeper who never earned more than $11,000 a year in his life, sat there, writing out a $25 check to the NAACP. When I asked him why, he said discrimination against anyone is discrimination against us all. And I never forgot that. Indeed, his philanthropy was a gift, not just to that organization, but to me.” ~ Michael Bloomberg
“Above all, you want to create something you’re proud of.” ~ Richard Branson
“With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts.” ~ Mark Zuckerburg
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” ~ Elon Musk
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” ~ Maya Angelou
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill
“It’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens
“Wealth is not to feed our egos but to feed the hungry and to help people help themselves.” ~ Andrew Carnegie
“If you’re in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.” ~ Warren Buffett
“Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.” ~ Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco, English writer and poet
“I don’t want to make money; I want to make a difference.” ~ Lady Gaga
“The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.” – Pearl S. Buck
“Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.” ~ Barbara Bush
“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” ~ Albert Einstein
“The practice of charity will bind us…will bind all men in one great brotherhood.” ~ Conrad Hilton
“My father used to say, ‘You can spend a lot of time making money. The tough time comes when you have to give it away properly.’ How to give something back, that’s the tough part in life.” ~ Lee Iacocca
“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” –Anne Frank
“The family that perseveres in good works will surely have an abundance of blessings.” ~ Chinese Proverb