With dread, I reluctantly agreed to attend a three hour scholarship award ceremony as Treasurer of my son’s football team. I say “with dread” because my son was not a recipient, and the prospect of sitting there for three hours and watch other peoples’ kids was not super appealing. Kind of rude, I know. But I CHOSE to change my attitude. I made a conscious decision to look for something to spark my inspiration. Maybe I would meet someone who would make a difference in my life. Maybe I would hear something that would impact me in some meaningful way. I did hear something that impacted me.
Many of the scholarships awarded were Memorial awards – some of them were students who had been killed or died before their time. In an effort to make those deaths mean something, those parents created scholarships to keep their children’s spirit alive and have a positive affect in a meaningful way. I sat there so thankful that my kids are alive and well. It was a good reminder of how much we should be thankful. Choosing to look at the event as an opportunity rather than a drag enabled me to be open minded, and free of life’s tedious hassles that tend to bring us down.
In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice I’ve ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education.
Shared by my Google+ friend, Juggler and originally created by The Glossary, this video, was built around an abridged version of the original audio recording, with the hopes that the core message of the speech could reach a wider audience who might not have otherwise been interested.
Take 9 minutes to watch this video: This is Water