Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You’re Not Special...

       “Your planet, I’ll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe.  In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it.” -David McCullough, Jr.  
       David McCullough, Jr. (son of the famous historian) teaches English at Wellesley High School in Boston.  He spoke this year to the graduating Seniors and unlike some commencement talks filled with platitudes, McCullough was honest and (in my mind) refreshing.  His remarks went viral on the internet because he pointed out to the youth that they are “not special” which might be shocking for some kids who’ve been raised thinking they are the end-all-be-all.  
       McCullough’s speech is great, worth reading the entire text.  I’ll just end this post with a quote from the end of his amazing speech:
       “Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do for others.  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.  Congratulations.  Good luck.  Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.”