Good Advice from a Commencement Speech

It’s the season for commencement addresses. Colleges are wrapping up and famous people are being called upon to share inspiring words to graduates. In this day of the internet and YouTube, good speeches can be taken in.

I watched one this morning by Aaron Sorkin. He is a screenwriter. West Wing, A Few Good Men and The Social Network are among his works.

His speech to the graduates of Syracuse University had many good words.

He promised the graduates that their worlds would become more complicated. Because of the complications, he promised that life would be full of failures. He implored them to get back up every time they failed.

He said that successes may well come too. He wished for them the taste of success very soon. He said the taste of success soon fades away but our memory of the taste is what inspires us to keep striving. Once tasted, they will want to taste it again.

He informed them that decisions are made by those who show up. He challenged them to a life engaged not only in a career but in the communities where they live.

As I watched, I found myself nodding my head and thinking of you. All of Sorkin’s advice is for people who desire “to happen to the world” rather than the other way around.