Another September? Where is this year going?
Having spent this recent Labor Day in Boston (where I went to college), I was reminded of just how great each Fall used to feel and I yearned to start a new academic semester feeling as optimistic and energize as I did back then. It’s somehow also disconcerting that “back then” is really not that long ago, but somehow feels like a much more distant memory. Why is that?
Feeling inspired to relive and remember some of my favorite collegiate moments, I ended up thinking about graduation day and what a truly odd affair that was. Regardless of the successes and failures along the way or the hopes and anxieties about the future, it felt as if that day was perfectly pinched in between an uncertain beginning and an all-too-certain end. I’ve rarely had an experience more suited to the adjective “bittersweet.”
So, in no particular order of importance, here are a couple of Commencement addresses that I have read and found moving recently. If you have any other suggestions, please send them along!
- “How Will You Measure Your Life” by Clayton M. Christensen. The professor delivered this speech at the 2010 Harvard Business School 2010 Graduation: http://www.inspirationfactor.com/2010/07/21/how-will-you-measure-your-life-by-clayton-m-christensen/
- “The Fringe Benefits of Failure” by J.K Rowling. This is the address that surprised and touched so many students during the Harvard University 2008 Commencement exercises: http://harvardmagazine.com/commencement/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination
- Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca-Cola, used this as Georgia Tech’s Commencement Address (correct me if I am wrong!): http://way2goal.com/words/messages/11.htm
- People usually attribute this as the “Bill Gates Speech.” They are wrong, since it is actually from a book by Charles Sykes. Nevertheless the 11 rules of real life are a fun (and applicable) read: http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/b/billgatesspeech.htm