Sunday, July 17, 2011

That's What She Said

I was just referred to my fave, YouTube, to check out the commencement speech Harry Potter author, J.K. ROWLING, delivered to Harvard grads back in 2008.  BRILLIANT!  Absolutely BRILLIANT!  I'd like to highlight several of her thoughts that moved me most:

"[Poverty] not an ennobling experience.  Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.  Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools."

"Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it."

"So why do I talk about the benefits of failure?  Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential.  I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.  Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.  I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea.  And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

"...some failure in life is inevitable.  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."

"Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes."

"...if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change.  We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."

"As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters."

It is my goal to live a GOOD life.  So...having been taught over & over again that I'm a SURVIVOR, I shall do whatever I have to do to live the life I KNOW I was born to live.  It won't be easy.  But it'll be worth it.  This, I know.  For sure!  I've never read any of her books, nor seen any of the films based upon them.  But, for this commencement speech, I say, "Thank you, J.K.  Thank you very much."

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