That is what Country music legend, actor and philanthropist Larry Gatlin told graduates at Cleveland State Community College Saturday morning prior to them receiving their diplomas.
“We all have stuff,” Gatlin said.
Gatlin came into Cleveland Friday and ate a BBQ dinner with upcoming grads, faculty, staff and others prior to a concert held in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium.
He sang his signature songs — one he wrote and performed with the Gatlin Brothers.
The Academy of Country Music standout has a great deal of “stuff” as the parents, friends and officials with CSCC “stuffed” into the gym Saturday to participate in the graduation ceremony and hear from the keynote speaker.
Dr.Carl Hite opened the program and introduced Gatlin to the audience.
“The world has been enamored with ‘stuff,’” Gatlin said.
“Some of it is good stuff, some bad. The good stuff is faith and family. Taking on a lot of stuff can encumber your life,” he explained.
Gatlin stressed to the new graduates to figure out what stuff in life was important.
“Figure out what you want to prioritize in your life,” he said.
“You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses and obtain ‘stuff.’”
Prior to the graduation, Gatlin noted, “They will graduate to a world full of ‘stuff.’”
During his opening comments, he sang the audience a song titled and about — “Stuff.”
Gatlin took a 17-year break from the Nashville recording and songwriting scene after performing with his harmonious brothers, Rudy and Steve Gatlin. Gatlin had 42 songs to chart during the years between 1973 and 1990 which included 17 top-10s, writing every one, according to his biography.
He has also performed as an actor on Broadway and co-authored books about his journey in life. Proceeds from the Friday evening concert to the Cleveland State Community College Scholarship Foundation.
Approximately 400 students received their diplomas Saturday.