Quindlen, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for her New York Times columns, has often turned to literature for this task: "As a reporter, I learned down to the ground these words of Henry James: Three things are important in life. The first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind."
The Class of 2012 will have to wait until May 20 to discover what advice Quindlen has for them. Until then, we've collected 10 bits of Quindlen wisdom to ponder:
Don't ever confuse your life and your work.
Open your mouths. Speak your piece. Fear not.
Carry your courage in an easily accessible place, the way you do your cell phone or your wallet.
Measure yourself against your best intentions, not societal standards, which tend to be punishing and false.
Realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted.
The voices of conformity speak so loudly. Don't listen to them.
Give up on being perfect and take hold of being yourself.
Don't give up adventure for safety and security.
Learn to be happy.
Get a life. A real life, a full life — a professional life, yes, but another life, too.
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