Stranger in a Strange Land: The Philosophy of Nick

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Philosophy of Nick

It’s graduation time again. But for once, I am not graduating. However, I am moving, which is kind of like graduating. And if I were to give a commencement speech at my fictitious graduation, and you, reader, were my fictitious audience, I would tell you this:
“Today means nothing more than yesterday. In fact, today would be just like any other day if it weren’t for all the mysterious envelopes people are going to give you. On the outside of these envelopes you will find your name. On the inside of these envelopes you will find a card. Inside of this card you will find some money, usually in the form of a check or cash. Depending on the age of the person who gave you the card, the check or cash may or may not be a very much. Nonetheless, there is more to this folded piece of cardboard then being a place to hold money. Written inside there’s probably some cute saying about this being “The greatest day of your life” or “Congratulations” and “The future is yours”.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; you don’t really need to read the card because I’m going to tell you what it should say:

“Some of you will go on and do great things. Others will go on and do bad things. And most of you will simply go on without doing very much of anything at all. Good luck.”

That being said, no matter how you end up going on, may your path always be in pursuit of finding The High Life. To help you discover this mythical utopia, let me provide you with some advice to guide you along the way. I suggest you commit them to memory under the heading, “Nick’s 15 Commandments to Living the Highlife”.

I. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Then spike it with vodka so it doesn’t taste as sour.

II. Travel. Leave. In fact, go away. Explore your world and see what you find. You will be surprised that foreign people are far more like you than television wants you to believe.

III. Don’t be racist. And if you ever hear someone proclaim, “I’m not racist, but…”, run like hell, for they are the most dangerous kind.

IV. If you graduate from college with an entirely worthless degree like English, Political Science or Philosophy and you’re looking for something to do, be a teacher. But if you become a teacher and find that although the ideals are worthy, the pay is crap, go to law school. And if you become a lawyer and realize that although the money is good, the ideals are crap, become a teacher. If you have already tried that, then simply go and be what you wanted to be in the first place.

V. Don’t be stupid. But if you insist on being stupid, for the love of god, STAY OUT OF POLITICS!

VI. There’s more to life than your job. Work is what you do to be able to live. If it ever goes the other way around, then really, what is the point?

VII. Live life on your own terms. After all, it is yours.

VIII. Make sure your terms do not interfere with mine because we’re a bit tight on space.

IX. What ever you do, don’t fart in a spacesuit.

X. When you are young, listen to the old for they will teach you the lessons of life. When you are old, watch the young for they will show you the lessons left to learn.

XI. Don’t settle for being content. A content life is a stagnant life and stagnant is just a fancy word for what happens when you are dead.

XII. Smile at inappropriate times. Others may think you are crazy, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

XIII. Regardless of your religion, stop trying to read between the lines. They all say the same thing, which is this: “Love.” So please, Stop the Madness!

XIV. For you skeptics who still insist on reading between the lines, I will save you the time by telling you the only thing there, which is this: “Jesus is proof that abstinence isn’t 100% safe.”*

XV. That being the case. Make love. Have fun. And enjoy the ride. The alternative is boredom, and in the endless pursuit of The High Life you must never become bored with life.”

Good luck, thanks for reading, and keep in touch (


*Example of an inappropriate time to smile.


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