Stay Gold: Advice from David Toland

Respect your elders. Learn from the people who have walked the path before you. Respect those people because sooner than you can imagine you are going to be old as well. We are all moving in different directions in life. I am sure many of you  know the meaning of “Stay Gold.” For those of you that are not familiar, this means when you are a child, everything is new. I believe that we should always stay that way. There will be good times and bad times ahead for all of us. I would like to give you some of advice about what to do when times get difficult. Many times I have heard people say, “Bad things, they will not happen to me.”  I have said it myself, and let me tell you somewhere along the way it will happen to you.

Many of you will get married and some of you will get divorced. It is a tough thing to go through, but there is no reason to be hateful. Sometimes relationships just do not work out; there is no need to point the finger at each other. You can still be friends even if your marriage did not work. Along this journey of life many of you will have kids, and for those of you that have read my previous articles you know my kids are my life. My advice on children is simple. Children should not have to sacrifice so that you can have the life you want. You make sacrifices so your children can have the life that they deserve.

Let me tell you that money is not everything and if you think it is, you are going down the wrong path. I have friends that are always talking about making over 100,000 dollars a year, and are constantly telling me they can get me a job making the same money. They looked at me like I was crazy when I said, “No thanks, I can’t work the schedule they need me to work.”  It does not matter what the salary is, my kids are involved in many after school activities and I do not want to miss any of it. I believe that you cannot put a price tag on the time you spend with your children. That is where “Stay Gold” comes into play, because everything your kids do is something new.

For the people thinking about heading into the military, you will have some of the best and the worst times in your life. My advice is pretty simple. We are all scared. You hide in that ditch because you think there is still hope, but the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function – without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.  For all the people heading out into the business world, here is some of my advice to you. Never give up your dreams and goals in life. A degree from Swarthmore is the best money can buy, but sometimes in the business world or “the real world,” politics play a big part in being successful. You could be the best person for the job, but the truth is sometimes it is who you know, not what you know. I always quote the line from the movie, The Bronx Tale, “That I was getting two educations, one from the street and one from school. That way, I’d be twice as smart as everybody.”

The world is not all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I do not care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. Nobody or nothing is going to hit you as hard as life. But it is not about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. It is about how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That is how winning is done. Now, if you know what you are worth, then go out and get what you are worth. But you have to be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers and blame other people. Remember life is a journey not a destination so…Stay Gold.

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