David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech delivered on May 21, 2005 at Kenyon College is considered to be one of the greatest commencement speeches of all times. The speech is included in Time Magazine’s best commencement speeches of all time list, and has been reproduced as a book – This is Water
Wallace was a brilliant American writer, best known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which is included in Time magazine’s list of 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005.
Two young fish encounter “an older fish swimming the other way,” and the older fish asks, “How’s the water?” The young fish ask one another: “What the hell is water?” – David Wallace
Here is what has may stay with you, long after watching this remarkable commencement speech by David Wallace.
Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. – David Wallace
Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. – David Wallace
The real value of a real education has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: – This is Water
It is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head – David Foster Wallace