Dear Class of 2023,
I understand that many of you might be wrestling with mixed feelings right now. The excitement of completing this significant milestone is understandably clouded by the current state of the world—the shaky economy, mass layoffs, ongoing wars, pervasive gun violence, the rapid rise of AI, and the intensifying acceleration of climate change. It’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed.
However, please know that life is not a zero-sum game. Serve the underserved. You will always benefit more from supporting and uplifting each other. In an economy with a perceived lack of demand, you can create more demand. Where opportunities seem scarce, you can create more opportunities. If love feels deficient, you can create more love. Not only for yourself but also for others. Create your own culture. Create your own inner peace. Create your own moral compass. Build them up. You are the creator and builder of your life.
Please remember that while AI can provide unprecedented efficiency, nothing can replace the human touch when it comes to cultivating meaningful relationships. Educate yourselves about AI and hold those in power accountable for ensuring it is used ethically and properly regulated. But please, don’t forget what makes you, you. Embrace the humanness in yourself and in all of us—the authentic, raw beauty of imperfection that binds us in profound connections. Despite all the efficiencies AI might offer, genuine sharing and compassion is still the only true antidote to the epidemic of loneliness.
Please, above all else, remember this: You have the right to demand change and the power to bring about change. We don’t know for sure what the future holds, but you are an integral part of it. You are the future. YOU—are change. Define it. Work for it. Foster it.
And no, I didn’t ask ChatGPT to write this for me. I’m sure it’s not perfect but it sincerely comes from my heart, and I hope you can feel it too. We’re incredibly proud of you. Congratulations! x