(Tumblr won’t embed the video so here’s the link to it.)“…special congratulations to you graduates. Before we get to the Life Advice You’ll Soon Forget portion of the program, I want to engage in a time-honored tradition of American commencement addresses: Stealing from other commencement addresses, in this case one by the children’s television host Fred Rogers. Think, if you will, of some of the people who helped get you to today, people who’ve loved you and without whose care and generosity you might not have found yourself here, graduating from Butler, or watching someone you love graduate, or seeing your students graduate. Think for one minute of those who have loved you up into this day. I’ll keep the time.(1 minute of silence)Those people are so proud of you today. We will return to those people soon, but first I have to deliver terrible news, which is that you are all going to die. This is another time-honored tradition of American celebration, the Raining on the Parade. I remember when I got married, the priest devoted most of his homily to telling me how challenging and laborious marriage would be, and I kept thinking, “Well, sure, but can’t we talk about that, like, TOMORROW?” But no, it simply cannot wait. You are going to die. Also everything you ever make and think and experience will be washed away by the sands of time, and the Sun will blow up and no one will remember Cleopatra ruling Egypt or Crick and Watson untangling the structure of DNA or Ptolemy fathoming the stars or even that improbably wonderful Gonzaga game.So that’s unfortunate.But I would argue that it’s good to be aware of temporariness when you are thinking about what you want to do with your life. The whole idea of this commencement speech is that I’m supposed to offer you some thoughts on how you might live a good life out there in the so-called Real World, which by the way I assure you is no more or less real than the one in which you have so far found yourselves.”
I love reading or hearing commencement speeches. It lifts you up from a bad mood and insisting frustrations and lack of faith in life or in yourself. Even I am heading nowhere in college. Although really, I’m doing good enough. But that’s the point exactly, I’m doing just good enough. And with the pressure the society, family expectations and personal goals put, it’s hard not to be hard on myself sometimes.
But hell, I’ve been felling better even after discovering there’s not much food in the fridge for me to munch on as soon as I’ve finished reading this. It helps to feel understood or heard by someone even if you first have to do the understanding on his part before yours. In the case of learning from others, that is.
It’s food for the soul, knowing and learning from familiar yet new words from people of different fields and places. It keeps you grounded yet floating. A little enlightenment from time to time is not bad, I guess.
All exaggeration aside, I think what feeds the soul overrides the hunger of the body. Wow… Did. I. Just. Say. That. Yep, food for the soul working… digesting.
And anyway, I may be practically biased towards whatever good words by John Green there are. But who won’t be? The guy is golden. Anything his smart mouth blurts is always a good one. Always.
I am ready to go where no one has gone before.