To Bobby on Graduation

To Bobby on Graduation

Hello Bobby,
An unstoppable force, my Mother and your Grandmother asked me to write you a note on your graduation from High School. What can I say, I know my Mother and Father are unstoppable, when they put their mind to something, it is going to happen. They are good team, they worked together and will finish the game of life together, 50 plus years of being married.

I do not have the correct words, for some reason my mind keeps drifting back to yesterday here in Kericho, Kenya. I got off the bus, got a Hotel room, and then proceeded to convince Pamela the housekeeper to wash my clothes. She wanted 300 Shillings, I told her I would pay her 200, she took my clothes and went to hand wash them. I suspect an Africa person would pay 50-100 Shillings for this task, while I am paying 200.

About one hour later a knock came on my door,
“Who is it?”
No one answers.

One should not open ever door in life, on the other hand one should not be afraid to open a door. I screamed again, someone made a noise on the other side of the door. I got up and opened it. A young man I did not know was standing at the door and says,
“She needs money.”

He stumbles and mumbles around, and says something in broken English; his first language is some other language, maybe Swahili so I am not concerned. I am thinking to myself, however being patient,
“Spit it out.”

“She washed your clothes.”

I am thinking to myself, yes that is the idea, she washes the clothes, and in exchange I give her money. However, why are you here, why are you asking, and where are my clothes? You give me clean clothes, and I give you money.

My room happens to be close to roof, and I can see my clothes hanging on the line drying in the sun. I am happy, I know the job is sufficiently completed to accomplish my goal; I want clean clothes, dried and ready to wear in my room. I can accomplish this goal, when the clothes are dried I can collect them and bring them to my room, effectively accomplishing my goal.

I wanted clean clothes sitting in my room.

The man hold out his hand, he wants the money, I can see Pamela standing over to the side. I wave her over, I say thanks to her, and place 250 Shillings directly in her hand, not the boy. 50 more than agreed, I smile at her, dismiss the young man, and walk into my room thinking to myself.
“What is it with Africa, it is a chore to have my clothes washed, why do they want money and the job is not finished.”

The Guidebooks need a special section in each chapter, where to get you clothes washed with a hope of completion.

Funny, the lights just came back on, the room electricity stopped in the middle of the night. I woke up around 5:30 am, lit a candle, turned on the battery powered BlackBerry Storm and perused over my emails. My mother wrote, so I prioritized and read this first. It is reminding me to write a note for you. I stop reading, turn on my battery powered computer and think to myself,
“I am going to write this note, finish it, post it and send; I have two hours to finish the job before my battery dies.”

Ok, congratulations on graduating, I expected it to happen, I am proud of you, I am proud of every member of my family.

I have written the story of your life above, please take the time to read it a few times and ask yourself on this day of graduation,
“Who are you?”
“Who will you be?”

I would say the story is confusing, however like a parable in the Bible each person can read and find the story they wish to find.

What is the moral of this story?

I have confidence in you, I know you will understand the story, make me proud, and I hope you understand I am trying my best to be a good Uncle, I am doing my job.

I love you.
Uncle Andy Graham in Kericho, Kenya June 6, 2009

Please, I invite readers to comment, explain the story, each one of you has a different interpretation and explanation of why I wrote this story. Explain to my nephew Bobby, help me to be a good Uncle, I know the story never ends, that life goes on, with each comment there is another view of your life, past, now and in the future. My job is not to write so clearly you understand, my job is to make you think and feel.

To Bobby on Graduation


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Your Uncle is a HOBO. Nothing wrong with that. He strives to be the best HOBO of all time. Whatever you choose Bobby, do strive to be the best. Just like your Uncle.


In your life , many people will say (and say) they are going to accomplish something, most dont. Watch, verify and then make an informed decision before going along. You dont have to be one of those. Your uncle is trying to teach the world like a wisdom man. Follow your heart and be trustworthy. Best of luck!

Bobby: What’s the deal with happiness and success?

Why is it that we live in such an amazing world, filled with blessings and opportunities, yet so few are happy?

You owe it to yourself and those who love you to be happy. You want to be successful for yourself and those who support and adore you. How do you do this? Where do you start? What comes first—happiness or success?

Studies show that it’s not an either/or situation. Happiness and success are connected in interesting and often counterintuitive ways. Talking about how success leads to happiness ignores half of the story. There is increasing scientific evidence that increasing happiness leads to success.

Let’s take this to work and look for ways that success and happiness can be achieved and integrated. What can you do to get and keep both?

1. Talk to other students. As a student, you often feel isolated and alone. You think that no one really understands you or what you do. Get a buddy that you trust and can share with during the day. It really does help with the loneliness, and you might even teach each other something that can lead to profits. This leads to a bond of sharing that causes you to feel happy.
2. Have at least one person in your private life that supports you, no matter what happens during the day. This helps you get to the point where you feel loved and accepted whether you are winning or losing. When you get this kind of nurturing from another person, you feel happy and safe.
3. Make sure that you have other activities outside of work. Exercising to a sweat is a fabulous way to stay happy and centered---and you can detox your body in the process. The happier you are, the more you will want to be happy. Exercise and activities that bring joy to you are self-reinforcing.
4. Resolve any and all conflicts in your life as quickly as possible. You will feel like a weight has been lifted from you. Talk it out, get it over with and let it go. If you do not resolve conflicts, they can turn into soap opera dramas and you will act them out on the stage of life. You will not be happy with the results. Why? Because the world doesn’t know you. It doesn’t care about your conflicts and dramas. They see these as weaknesses and will exploit them. They see you as weak and attack you by taking your money. This is a self-sabotaging cycle that leads to more and more losses. Now, you are playing in the big bad world and acting out your emotions of anger, abandonment, resentment or sadness. The world will give you more of what you already have—misery. If you resolve your personal dramas, you approach the world in a happier state of mind. You telegraph happiness into the world and they leave you alone to do trade your plan and make money. The world sees happiness and positivity as something they really don’t want to mess with. Sadness and desperation---yes—they can and do mess with that.
5. Help others. When you are in a good mood, you are more likely to display what psychologists call prosocial behavior. Help other students if they ask for help. Help other people who genuinely need help. Be generous with your time and money. What you give comes back to you, often in ways that you least expect.
6. Eat food that elevates your mood. Food changes the chemical transmitters in your brain. Fish, chicken, beans and tofu contain tyrosine that leads to increased mental alertness. The folic acid in a glass of orange juice or a cup or spinach has antidepressant effects. Selenium in brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and tuna fish boosts happiness. Avoid fried food, junk food and most fast foods. They may feel “comforting” at the time, but are nothing but a quick fix that makes you fat and clogs your arteries. Blood must flow freely to the brain for peak performance, and clogged arteries block this flow of blood and oxygen.
7. Be more playful and creative. The brain thrives on novelty. Getting away from your daily routine causes new pathways to form in the brain. Even simple things like drying yourself differently after a shower or bath (first notice how you dry yourself the same way every time, then do it differently. It may surprise you and wake up your brain). Study is an extension of the games we played as children. The best students I know excel at some sport or game- chess, racquetball, dancing or poker. Playing games or sports causes the brain to make new connections. When the brain makes new connections it is better able to perform complex tasks like trading. Playfulness and competition enable you to develop your own edge in the world.

The way you think about happiness and success profoundly affects your life. If you think that success mainly leads to happiness then you focus more on success to the exclusion of happiness. You assume that, once you are successful, you will be happy.

Research shows that the instruction is to pursue both—not one to the exclusion of the other. Feeling better in the moment is not only more pleasant but it will open your brain to opportunities in your trading, your play and your relationships. Recognizing and taking these opportunities will lead you to success and happiness—not necessarily in that order—but you will eventually get both!

My dear son Bobby,
Good morning to you from the south west corner of India!
Please accept my hearty congratulations on your graduation from High School!
Andy is a good friend of mine!He is the epitome of adventure in all those places I had been many years ago!
Dear son Bobby,your journey is not finished!!Its just begun!
many employees are like that boy in this story.They want the money --salary/payment/remuneration whatever you call it-- before finishing the task assigned to them to the satisfaction of the employer!
never be like that!
Finish anything that you begin!
To the satisfaction of the other person!
Love from Sadaboy (prof Dr N Sadasivan )
*Visit me at my blog

Hi Bobby

Congratulations on your graduation!

Im sure you have your own thoughts on what your Unlce was saying. To me it was this...

Situations rise that you wont believe in or agree with. Dont embarass someone or shout them down for making what they can of it, or from taking advantage of the situation. Be the better person stay true to yourself. Compromise is everything and helps to make the world a better place. Carry the feelings of other people with you, but ultimately, do whats right and fair for all involved.

As I understand it, graduation is a big thing and the final step into the real world. Good luck to you.



I think your uncle Andy the Hobo is trying to tell you through his story that if you want something done to your expectations...get off your butt and do it yourself!

Also, through the picture he attached, I can see that Andy would like you to know that fashion is overrated (red and white shirts anyone??) ...but tighty-whities never go out of style.

Hahahaaaa. Congrats on your Graduation. Have some fun, and remember.... good hygene is important! Even for a hobo.

keep it simple. love a few, trust none.

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