Attention all comedy folk who have been overrepresented as commencement speakers in 2011: *This* is a real story that’s actually moving and thought-provoking. *This* is what we’re looking for on graduation day. Not 15 minutes of jokes and self-promotion, followed by five minutes of tawdry pseudo-inspirational life lessons.
As much as I love you all for your televised comedic gold, I’m talking to you Conan, Colbert, and yes even you, Poehler (despite my earlier post).
A few choice excerpts:
“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.”
“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.”
“Happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist 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.”
“Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.”
“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”
And now – without further adieu.
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