Seniors in my high school are allowed to paint a mural on the walls of the art room at the end of the year, and I chose the flying spaghetti monster. I also mentioned the flying spaghetti monster in my valedictorian speech. I’ll include it in the email. I hope the mural lives up to the image of his noodly appendages.
Valedictorian Speech Below
Hi, everyone. Before we get our diplomas, I want to tell you all a short story. The story of an art project I did. At the end of the year, each senior in art is allowed the opportunity to preserve themselves in a mural on the walls of the art room. I decided I wanted to paint one. The only question was what would I paint? I considered pop culture references and inspirational flowery messages of hope, but ultimately, I decided on something I thought was strange enough to inspire interest and maybe a few people could look at it and see something uniquely for themselves. I chose the flying spaghetti monster. For those of you who don’t know, the flying spaghetti monster is the emblem of the “pastafarian” movement, which is a rather silly group that questions the validity of blind acceptance, instead promoting logic. I did not choose the flying spaghetti monster to make a political or religious statement. To me, the flying spaghetti monster represents an ideal I think is being undervalued in our society—the ability to laugh at things that are ridiculous, and more importantly, the value of being ridiculous and silly. A thing does not have to be serious in life to be important. I think that that’s something I never really understood before. The importance of being unapologetically ridiculous, the joy that humor can bring, the profundity of absurdity; it’s all so clear to me now. The outlandish can instill wonder and happiness. What better reason is there for art? And so I painted the flying spaghetti monster, hoping that someday, someone would find in it a muse of silliness for their own life, something to tell them to be novel and unafraid to take chances.
If I could offer you all one bit of guidance from my life to your own, whether you are going to work, college, or the military, it would be that when life gives you the chance to go on an adventure, always take it. It doesn’t have to be the literal road trip, or journey-through-the-jungle-kind of adventure. It just has to be something new. And it doesn’t always have to be a place. An adventure can be a job, or a class, or a person. Always remember to push yourselves out of your comfort zones. Most of my regrets from high school have been not going on an adventure because I was too afraid of failing. And I don’t think I’ve ever regretted an adventure either, even if it rains, which usually does happen. It’s taken me a long time to understand this, but living in the moment doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The realization that absolutely everyone dies and that this single day will mean very little in the larger scope of my life has allowed me to let go a bit. Relinquishing those fears that we bear as shields over our hearts is never easy, but well worth it, however uncomfortable it may be.
So, as we walk into a different stage in our lives, I encourage you all to improvise, to sample everything, to search until you find a dream, and fight until that dream is realized. Remember to search for wonder, and every now and again, let curiosity get the best of you, for it’s the only way to continue to grow, and always keep your heart and mind light. In the words of a great playwright and my favorite author, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” Stay gold, everyone."
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