A friend passed along a link to the Neil Gaiman commencement address that has received a lot of attention on YouTube. I can see why — Gaiman makes a strong and inspiring case for devoting ourselves to “make good art”. A highlight is when he goes through a litany of things that can go wrong in our lives, and his response to each is “make good art”.
If I made the speech to the graduates I would probably insert a little more respect for practicalities like earning a living. But Gaiman is right — we need to make good art, which in some vocations translates to “do good work”. Seeing our chosen work as good, and as art, and engaging it fully, can go a long ways towards re-establishing a healthy life.