Back in 2008, two well-known authors gave commencement addresses that were published into books. I’ve always been an admirer of memorable speeches. It amazes me how I can forget the exact words over the years but always remember the intent of the message.
Ms. Rowling advised we need our own criteria of failure or a world of critics will be happy to provide it for us. Failure in life is inevitable unless you live life too cautiously. Ms. Rowling spoke about how you never truly know yourself until you are tested by adversity. The creator of the Harry Potter series told the graduates you do not need magic to transform the world; that all humans carry the ability inside already.
Ann Patchett spoke at her Alma mater Sarah Lawrence College. Her speech was entitled What now? Two small but powerful words when put together empowers the individual, regardless of age, to decide which way to go in life.
Ms. Patchett spoke about how her long ago professor and mentor read her first draft and advised, much to her dismay, only to keep one story in it. She tells the graduates stories about her days in college and what she experienced and how she felt coming back to campus.
These two authors provided three big ideas:
- Learning from failure
- Ask myself what now?
Gentle reminders that we all have the unique power and ability to change, transform, and create new paths in life.