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Rebecca’s FSM Inspired Valedictorian Speech

Published July 2nd, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

valedictorian_artwork

Seniors in my high school are allowed to paint a mural on the walls of the art room at the end of the year, and I chose the flying spaghetti monster. I also mentioned the flying spaghetti monster in my valedictorian speech. I’ll include it in the email. I hope the mural lives up to the image of his noodly appendages. 

Valedictorian Speech Below

Hi, everyone. Before we get our diplomas, I want to tell you all a short story. The story of an art project I did. At the end of the year, each senior in art is allowed the opportunity to preserve themselves in a mural on the walls of the art room. I decided I wanted to paint one. The only question was what would I paint? I considered pop culture references and inspirational flowery messages of hope, but ultimately, I decided on something I thought was strange enough to inspire interest and maybe a few people could look at it and see something uniquely for themselves. I chose the flying spaghetti monster. For those of you who don’t know, the flying spaghetti monster is the emblem of the “pastafarian” movement, which is a rather silly group that questions the validity of blind acceptance, instead promoting logic. I did not choose the flying spaghetti monster to make a political or religious statement. To me, the flying spaghetti monster represents an ideal I think is being undervalued in our society—the ability to laugh at things that are ridiculous, and more importantly, the value of being ridiculous and silly. A thing does not have to be serious in life to be important. I think that that’s something I never really understood before. The importance of being unapologetically ridiculous, the joy that humor can bring, the profundity of absurdity; it’s all so clear to me now. The outlandish can instill wonder and happiness. What better reason is there for art? And so I painted the flying spaghetti monster, hoping that someday, someone would find in it a muse of silliness for their own life, something to tell them to be novel and unafraid to take chances.

If I could offer you all one bit of guidance from my life to your own, whether you are going to work, college, or the military, it would be that when life gives you the chance to go on an adventure, always take it. It doesn’t have to be the literal road trip, or journey-through-the-jungle-kind of adventure. It just has to be something new. And it doesn’t always have to be a place. An adventure can be a job, or a class, or a person. Always remember to push yourselves out of your comfort zones. Most of my regrets from high school have been not going on an adventure because I was too afraid of failing. And I don’t think I’ve ever regretted an adventure either, even if it rains, which usually does happen. It’s taken me a long time to understand this, but living in the moment doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The realization that absolutely everyone dies and that this single day will mean very little in the larger scope of my life has allowed me to let go a bit. Relinquishing those fears that we bear as shields over our hearts is never easy, but well worth it, however uncomfortable it may be.

So, as we walk into a different stage in our lives, I encourage you all to improvise, to sample everything, to search until you find a dream, and fight until that dream is realized. Remember to search for wonder, and every now and again, let curiosity get the best of you, for it’s the only way to continue to grow, and always keep your heart and mind light. In the words of a great playwright and my favorite author, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” Stay gold, everyone."

-Rebecca



73 Responses to “Rebecca’s FSM Inspired Valedictorian Speech”

  1. SiverJohn17 says:

    I love this speech and I think it was perfect for a college graduation.

    Oh and @Big Guy, you say you are a Christian and I hope at least believe some of the bible because of that so this verse is for you. Mathew 10:14 “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet”
    (Said by Jesus) Translation, incase you couldn’t get the point, get off this website and being an idiotic troll until you can bring some worthy knowledge to contribute, even if it is against are ideas. Oh and saying you are all damned is not worthy knowledge. We will hear your posts from now on but we won’t listen to them at all because there is nothing to listen to. Some may still comment but I doubt anyone will really understand what you are trying to say because it is incomprehensible. Some friendly advice bring back an actual comprehensible argument and then we will listen, until then just look at what Jesus said because I can guarantee you we will not be listening.
    I am mostly saddened that you are ruining this girl’s moment of glory and our appreciation of it. Sorry Rebecca that I decided to post this on your piece of the blog. I hope there are more people like you in your graduating class, much support.

    • tekHedd says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. BG’s no Christian.

      • SiverJohn17 says:

        I know that, Jesus knows that, but he doesn’t know that so shhhhhhhh and maybe he may get tricked and go away.

    • COMMITTEE TO SQUELCH BIG GUY says:

      PLEASE DON’T RESPOND TO BIG GUY. JUST SCROLL RIGHT THROUGH HIS ILLITERATE NONSENSE AND MOVE ON. DON’T BE TEMPTED TO RESPOND, NO MATTER HOW INANE OR INSULTING HIS POST MAY BE.

      Either Big Guy is putting us on, or he’s as mentally disturbed as he sounds. We’ve wasted too much time on this moronic troll. If he stops getting a reaction, he’ll eventually leave. Don’t feed his ego.

    • Jason says:

      Dude didn’t you know, when you use their own book against them you are always quoting “out of context” *laugh* They can quote a one liner, twist it and make it say something it doesn’t literally say and are never out of context… you do it though it is out of context. :P

  2. ChristopherTK says:

    Great speech. I just hope a few in the crowd stopped to consider her words.

  3. stylusmobilus says:

    Rebecca, it seems you possess “the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the strength to change the things you can, and the Noodle to know the difference”. Great speech, and top artwork.

    RAmen!

  4. tekHedd says:

    Congratulations on graduating with honors and all! People will tell you grades don’t matter in the “real world,” but they sure help when you’re trying to get scholarship money or a job. :)

    A lovely speech. When I saw that the FSM was involved, I was momentarily worried that it might be illegal, but I see that you completely avoid proselytizing, as the FSM, the Constitution, and common decency would have us do. And a great sentiment.

    My valedictorian speech wasn’t half as interesting, and they wouldn’t let me deliver it because, they said, the valedictorian had written his own speech and didn’t need mine. They didn’t even say thanks!

  5. COMMITTEE TO SQUELCH BIG GUY says:

    PLEASE, EVERYONE, DO NOT RESPOND TO BIG GUY. DO NOT EVEN CLICK DISLIKE. JUST SCROLL RIGHT THROUGH HIS NONSENSE AND MOVE ON.

    This is a way to turn him off and eventually get rid of him. He loves attention, and likes to feel that he’s important, probably because he lacks anything in his life other than his sick “missionary” zeal.

    • Big Guy says:

      committee just give it up Jesus loves you

      • COMMITTEE TO SQUELCH BIG GUY says:

        IGNORE THE BIG GUY TROLL. SCROLL RIGHT THROUGH HIS MEANINGLESS POSTS AND MOVE ON. DON’T BE TEMPTED TO RESPOND, NO MATTER HOW INANE OR INSULTING HIS POST MAY BE.

        We’ve wasted too much time on this idiot. He’s an attention whore. If he stops getting reactions, he’ll eventually leave. Let’s reclaim our site.

  6. MK says:

    Well said, Rebecca. You words were funny, inspired and ultimately touching!

  7. Teresa Green says:

    Great, great speech sharing great, great thoughts. Congratulations from an ex-fundamentalism-born-again-judgemental-moral-high-ground-know-all who saw the light of a different color some years ago and finally became an adult at 38 when she took responsibility for her own life and survived. THE most liberating thing – to know that to be motivated purely because you WANT to do something good for yourself, others or “the world”, is an indescribably better thing than doing it out of duty, fear, instruction or the hope that you’ll win favor with The Big Guy. (And I do not mean the blinded person using that name contributing on this thread!… I was that person for many years). The prospect of examining one’s lifelong values instilled from birth is often too much to contemplate, and it’s easier by far to pour vitriol and judgement on others who have no such baggage.

  8. JD says:

    I must say I wish I could have had such a speech read at my graduation! Your words were moving and I congratulate you on your success. I have alyways been one to think that one should not take life too seriously.

    I see there has been a lot of… I hesitate to call it discussion… rather posts about religion. All I can say to those who seek to bash this site and the people here is this:

    I am appalled at the comments telling everyone they will burn and the hate that is spread etc… Is it not acceptance of others and humbleness/humility that most religions seek to teach their followers? I hate to single out a religion, but people from the Christian religions seem to single themselves out in places such as these. Ultimately religion seeks to attain peaceful coexistence through a common idea. If all people who are “true” to their religions were to do this, we wouldn’t have conflict here would we? Jesus didn’t go around bashing people and telling sinners they were going to go to burn in a pit. No. He (according to the bible) took the time go to these people, speak with them and get to know them, despite the common belief of the society around him. He was attempting to push boundaries and open society to think differently. IE: not treating the leper or prostitue as outcasts. In bashing the ideas here and the people here you are going agaisnt the teachings of Jesus.

    Telling people they will burn is not a good way to get people to listen to you. Jesus understood this. Besides, as Christianity put it, God gave us all the freedom to choose. So would it really make sense for God to punish those who used his gift and gained appreciation for it? Regardless of whether or not that choice led people to believe in him, such is the result of freedom (God understands this). If he wanted us all to worship him, he would have made us that way and in so doing would make himself just another tyrant. I think it would be more fitting for God to punish those who have this gift and so blindly waste it away not giving a single thought as to what they were doing.

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