Commencement 2011: what 10 eminent speakers told graduates

Here are the Monitor's hand-picked highlights from the 2011 commencement season.

6. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a news conference on marriage equality in Albany, N.Y., on May 17. At right is New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Both were at the Capitol to lobby legislators to vote to legalize gay marriage.
    Mike Groll/AP Photo
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As you think about your career, whatever you do, don't worry about mapping it all out. Just don't play it safe. Don't be the person who quits a start-up company, or a band, before giving it a chance to make it big. And don't be afraid to start over or change direction. The more risks you take, the happier you will be, even if they don't work out. And I can assure you, sometimes they won't. But I can also assure you this: No matter what job you have, no matter who your employer is, the harder you work, the luckier you will get…. My advice is relatively simple: Continue learning. Continue asking difficult questions. Continue thinking independently. Continue volunteering your time to help others. Continuing defending, and enjoying, the freedoms that make America great.

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