I celebrated my first grad this past weekend (though I didn’t quite make it to the ceremony, owing to the 8am start time and the lack of tickets for our entire extended family – sorry, Kenny!).
Graduation season is here and goddamn I love me a good commencement speech.
Inspiring, (hopefully) succinct, and full of well wishes and optimism. They frequently neglect to mention the onslaught of student loans and that the past four years playing beer pong and sleeping in has left you with a mostly useless degree requiring you to go to grad school or work for pennies while you move back in with your parents (this is why I’ll never be asked to give a graduation speech).
There are so many good speeches, and a quick youtube search will yield videos more inspiring than TedTalks; and, of course, there’s Steve Jobs at Stanford:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition … Stay hungry, Stay foolish.”
But one of my favorites is George Saunders at Syracuse. The core of his message can be summed up like so:
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
It’s worth the full read/watch.
I’m realizing more and more that the only thing that matters is how we treat each other.