Benefits of failure – Theme 1
Importance of imagination -Theme 2
There is an expiry date on blaming on anything !
The moment we are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with us
JK Rowling Speech ! Text as delivered !
Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.
What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure
Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated ( vaccinate )anyone against the caprice( a sudden and unaccountable change ) of the Fates
benefits of failure will strip away the inessential ,failure will teach us and direct us to put all our energy into finishing the only work that mattered to us
It will help us to find the determination to succeed in the one arena which we believe truly and belonged to us !
Failure with rock bottom became the solid foundation on which we can rebuilt our life
some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies (diamond)
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned
life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes ( a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant )
Second theme is the importance of imagination !
Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places
What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality
the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.
But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people’s lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden
If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better
I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life
So today, I wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom:
As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
I wish you all very good lives.
Thank-you very much.
Courtesy and Source – Harvard Speech !