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A capsule commencement speech

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The table in the bookstore had a sign on it: "For Grads." Stacked on the table was an impressive variety of volumes — books about the wisdom of the Greeks, books by the Dalai Lama, Yogi Berra and other gurus. There were books about teachers, philosophers and common sense. There was even a volume about the "life lessons" grads can learn from their dogs.

After spending all those years in classrooms, one wondered why graduates needed so many books to learn about life — notwithstanding the piercing insights from their pets.

The reason was obvious: Advice is easy, life is hard.

Still, each year it has become almost a tradition for newspapers to offer some wishes and wisdom — a little guiding light, as it were — to the year's graduates (as if journalists had a corner on such things).

The truth is, if all the commencement speeches and newspaper editorials giving suggestions to students were stacked end to end, it would make an even bigger collection of cliches than the collected post-game quotes of baseball managers.

It's better to keep things short, sweet and simple.

So, permit us to offer a tiny snippet of thought from Shakespeare — not the playwright, the fishing-reel company.

Graduates, "Go fishing."

Or, as Joseph Campbell might word it, "Follow your bliss."

Listen to your heart, then throw yourself — hook, line and sinker — into the things you love.

That might not always be a recipe for success, but it is often a recipe for fulfillment and a life lived without regrets.

Human nature tends to rise to the level of the human heart. Tap into that heart and the by-products are usually "generosity" and "understanding."

Book learning can get you only so far. And don't trust your gut, your head — or even this editorial.

Trust your "core," your coronary "corazon."

It might not lead you to the promised land, but — as the money-grubbers say of money — it's way ahead of whatever's in second place.

That's all, students.

You're on your own.

Our thoughts, prayers and crossed-fingers go with you.