Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Blessing of Knowing You're Not Special

I love the message in this speech given by David McCullough to the graduating class of 2012 at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts. It's a little long, but there's not much to see so turn up your speakers and listen while you fold the laundry. I think you'll be glad you did. :)

A few of my favorite parts:

"We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point. And we're happy to compromise standards or ignore reality if we suspect that's the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantlepiece - something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole."

"Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying by-product. It's what happens when you're thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you."

"Exercise free will and creative independent thought, not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others - the rest of the 6.8 billion and those who will follow them.  And then you, too, will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you're not special. Because everyone is."


Dana Day said...

How true is this. I love it. We just had this experience in scouting where some were mad that kevin did not pass a ym on a rank advancement when he had not completed the requirements. He was told he should have just given it to him anyway. Why have we become more about rapid achievement than truly learning from the process. Awesome Missy. Love ya friend.

Karey said...

That was excellent. I saw a short blurb on it this morning on the news. I'm glad you had the whole thing.