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LaValley gives advice to Tupper Lake graduates

School Board President Mike Dechene hands graduating senior Elizabeth Boylan, of Piercefield, her diploma during the June 23 commencement ceremony in the Tupper Lake Middle/High School gymnasium.

School Board President Mike Dechene hands graduating senior Elizabeth Boylan, of Piercefield, her diploma during the June 23 commencement ceremony in the Tupper Lake Middle/High School gymnasium. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Jim LaValley hoped Tupper Lake High School graduates heard more than “blah, blah, blah” during his commencement speech Saturday, June 23 in the high school gymnasium.

LaValley — the owner of LaValley Real Estate, chairman of ARISE (Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy) and longtime TV personality during the annual High Peaks Hospice Day — shared his list of 10 “Blah, Blah, Blah Points” with the 64 graduating seniors. They’re really nuggets of wisdom.

•1) Live life: “You have a vast region of enormous potential located somewhere between your ears ... As adults, we want to help you avoid the mistakes we made. That’s not right. You need to make mistakes.”

•2) Judging others: “Be careful how you judge others ... It shouldn’t matter if a person is fat or skinny, white or black, straight or gay, athletic or geek. We’re a part of one race, and it’s called the human race. It’s up to your generation to see that tolerance becomes contagious.”

•3) Making mistakes: “If you make a mistake or somehow screwed up, it doesn’t have to define you. What you did yesterday does not have to define you today. But it’s up to you, and no one else, to define today.”

•4) Listen: “Listen more than you talk. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn when you listen.”

•5) Have fun: “Don’t be afraid to be goofy and entertain yourself. Don’t count on others to make your fun. And spend some time by yourself.”

•6) Success from failure: “Let me run a few names by you: Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Michael Jordan, Elvis ... They’re all people who failed miserably before they became incredibly successful. They knew failure is not an ending; it’s a beginning ... Listen to your mistakes.”

•7) Giving back: “Give something back and do it with compassion, not always looking for a return.”

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