Life Lessons

I love how unexpected life is. When I graduated from Emerson College in 1979, I never dreamed I would be getting my doctorate like I did last week. It’s an honorary one, I know. But it’s no less special and “Dr. Brown” just feels so cool. To top it off, I got to share the stage with some truly inspiring people who were also being honored including NBC’s Meet the Press journalist, David Gregory, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner, and three-time US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.

One word: Wow.


If you know me, you know I don’t like long speeches. When it was my turn to accept the degree, I kept it short and sweet for the class of 2012. I shared my five golden rules to live by—a list I try to stick to every day.

This is what they are:

1) Be thankful – To your teachers but especially to your parents for getting you to this moment.

2) Work hard – First find your passion then give it your all. Remember, no job is beneath you.

3) Have no fear – I promise you can do anything you want – just be open.

4) Be healthy – Don’t smoke, exercise and eat tons of vegetables.

5) Last (and most importantly)… Be nice – to everyone. You never know what they are going through or if your paths will cross in the future.

Now, off to the graduation party.

You never forget your first: here’s me getting my first honorary doctorate from Montclair.



Photo Credit: The soda I’ll be serving from now on (I couldn’t resist!)

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