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A Different Kind of College Commencement Address (People Don't Get What They Deserve)




Here's one of many reasons I will never be invited to give a college commencement address of any kind.

If I were going to give a college commencement address, it would simply be this:  The lyrics to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' "People Don't Get What They Deserve, " especially the chorus:

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
People don't get what they deserve

Cruel, eh?  Not really.

The lyrics to the beginning of the song sum up nicely the beliefs that many middle class, working class, and poor parents send their children off to college with -- work hard, do well, and you will succeed and prosper.

Not so fast, says Ms. Jones and the Dap Kings.  That equation doesn't necessarily add up in today's world.

With the wealth gap widening, the student loan debt burden breaking the backs of our young college graduates before they even drive off campus for the last time, we do a disservice to them to allow them to think that things will work out just as we were taught.  That was then, this is now. The ratio of what they owe to what they will earn is vastly different from when we Baby Boomers graduated from college.  Mind you, I'm not trying to create an existential crisis for the Class of 2014 -- indeed, without a college degree, they'd be more screwed -- but I'm honest enough to say that their newly minted degrees may not take them as far as mine did in 1986.  If, by chance, their degrees do take them far, there are equal parts achievement and grace fueling their success.

So, in the spirit of honesty, and bearing in mind that I will never be asked to give a college commencement address, not even at a diploma mill college, here are the lyrics to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' "People Don't Get What They Deserve":

When I was a child, I believed what they told me (every word)
To each one shall come what each one shall earn
And if I worked hard, nobody could hold me (hold me)
And cheaters will fail, that's what they all learned (cheaters never prosper)

There is a man who is born with a fortune
A hard days' work he's never done (livin' on easy street)
He lives from the sweat of other men's labor
And he sips his champagne and lays in the sun

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
People don't get what they deserve
People don't get what they deserve

There is a man who lives like a saint
He works from daybreak to late in the night
He's never stolen, he's never been lazy (not a day in his life)
To feed his children is always a fight (work work work)

I try to do right by all of God's children
I work very hard for all I could afford
But I don't pretend for one single moment
That what I get is my just reward

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
People don't get what they deserve
People don't get what they deserve

Congratulations, Class of 2014!  No, I really mean it.  You can listen to the song above.  At least it has a good beat.
When I was a child I believed what they told me (every word)
To each one shall come what each one shall earn
And if I worked hard nobody could hold me (hold me)
And cheaters will fail, that's what they all learned (cheaters never prosper)
There is a man who is born with a fortune
A hard days work he's never done (livin' on easy street)
He lives from the sweat of other men's labor
As he sips his champagne and lays in the sun

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve) x2

There is a man who lives like a saint
He works from daybreak to late in the night
He's never stolen, he's never been lazy (not a day in his life)
To feed his children is always a fight (work work work)
I try to do right by all of god's children
I work very hard for all I could afford
But I don't pretend for one single moment
That what I get is my just reward

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve)
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/sharon-jones-the-dap-kings/people-don-t-get-what-they-deserve-lyrics/#CFPIEG5ieZercQRM.99
When I was a child I believed what they told me (every word)
To each one shall come what each one shall earn
And if I worked hard nobody could hold me (hold me)
And cheaters will fail, that's what they all learned (cheaters never prosper)
There is a man who is born with a fortune
A hard days work he's never done (livin' on easy street)
He lives from the sweat of other men's labor
As he sips his champagne and lays in the sun

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve) x2

There is a man who lives like a saint
He works from daybreak to late in the night
He's never stolen, he's never been lazy (not a day in his life)
To feed his children is always a fight (work work work)
I try to do right by all of god's children
I work very hard for all I could afford
But I don't pretend for one single moment
That what I get is my just reward

Money don't follow sweat
Money don't follow brains
Money don't follow deeds of peace
(People don't get what they deserve)
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/sharon-jones-the-dap-kings/people-don-t-get-what-they-deserve-lyrics/#CFPIEG5ieZercQRM.99

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