The Unusual Message Of 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 …show more content…

We get up at the same time.We go to the same place and see the same people. We go to bed at the same time and do it all again the next day. Wallace explained that this could be very stressful to some people. The point of this analogy is we need to realize that we don't what a person may be going through each day so we should be mindful of how we react to people. For example, when we are going through the drive-thru and the employee that is taking our order is a little snappy, we should stop and think of what they may be going through that day before we start ripping the person’s head off and leaving our food at the window. On the flip side the analogy, he also talks about how being stressed can cause us to think we are the center of the universe, and how all that matters in life is what we are going through, and what we are feeling. Wallace encourages us to break free from that mindset by learning, and Wallace says that being educated is more than just gaining knowledge in a certain area. It’s about learning how to treat others. Wallace says more importantly that being educated is about building character and being someone you and others can truly be proud …show more content…

Wallace states that it really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. Wallace was basically saying yes it’s important to gain knowledge, but how you apply the knowledge is equally important. He also emphasizes how we miss certain valuable things that are right in front of us because we are looking at what we think is obvious. It’s almost like the old saying “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” I think sometimes we can become so educated that we are just dumb. We can be blind to the more important things in life. I agree with Wallace that we can become slaves to our own minds. Our perception is our reality. However, I believe that we should all gain some clear understanding of what we all really face from day to day and be more sympathetic to one another. I believe it could be a matter of life and death for each and every one of us. I always say I hate when someone says “oh it could have been worse” to someone going through something. I think that is the wrong way to encourage someone because you can never know what that person’s worse is. What is nothing to you could really be a huge thing to someone else. So rather than to say that I tell people to just say “things will get better,” we should put more emphasis on the good instead of the bad. To me, that is learning to have control over what and how you

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