Commencement Speech 'This Is Water' By David Foster Wallace

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The Unusual Message Reading the commencement speech “This is Water”, written and delivered by David Foster Wallace to students and their families at Kenyon College was nothing like what I was expecting it to be. I can imagine the listeners that were present were just as shocked as I was when they finally grasped the message he was presenting to them that day. Normally when someone delivers a commencement speech to students graduating, it's more along the lines of “be all that you can be” or “You can do it” with emphasis on the word “you.” No one really tells you to think of others first at that point in your lives. However, Wallace did just that. He told the students that if everyone would be honest with themselves and others they would admit to being self-centered egotistical jerks. He said we were born thinking that way but the good news is we can reprogram ourselves by changing our perspective on others and being empathetic to other people’s situations and feelings. Wallace also …show more content…

Students not only need to gain the knowledge for the field that they will be working in, but more importantly they need the knowledge of basic life skills on how to think and react to life experiences. It is important for people to understand that knowledge is power, and knowing that it’s not all about you is one of the best realizations one can have. We are all here to collectively work together for some type of common goal. No one person is more valuable than the other. So the next time we are waiting in line in Walmart, we shouldn’t be cursing about how the cashier is too slow, or that they need to open more lines because we are in a hurry. We will stop and think that maybe that cashier has had a long day and no break yet because someone called out. And before we get mad, and call the person who called out a bad name we will be mindful of Wallace’s speech and just patiently wait our

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