BrainTeaser | Sherma E Benosa

Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.

JK Rowling and her Harvard Speech

I stumbled upon a video of JK Rowling’s commencement speech at Harvard University. JK Rowling is the creator of the Harry P otter series, which is among my favorite books. I find her speech very inspiring, so I am featuring it here.

 

 

 

Here are the parts of her speech I love:

 

“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”

 

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”

 

“Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.”

 

“Those who choose not to empathize may enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.”

 

 “If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

 

What do you think of her speech? Is there a part of it that moved you?

 

[PS: I am doing a reflection/review based on her speech. But I am not posting it yet. It’s not yet done.]

 

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6 comments on “JK Rowling and her Harvard Speech

  1. virtualfriend
    June 12, 2008

    Can we do political discussions here Buddy?

    I like this one best: “If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice….”

    Looking deeper at the dilemma of the less fortunate Overseas Filipino Workers especially those who go to host countries who typecast Filipinos, I lament on the lack of genuine support from the government and from many of the better educated Filipinos who choose not to share their talents to help distressed fellow countrymen abroad.

    Ah, Ms. Rowlings is correct. How many of the “famous” would want to identify themselves with the typecasts?

  2. Salve
    June 12, 2008

    Girl, great speech. I love that last quote you have.
    The people in our government — the learned Filipinos — should contemplate on that. If they could just be the voice, eyes, arms, legs of the unfortunate, the common Pinoy, the people who believed and voted for them, maybe we’ll be more happier . united.

    And VF, about this: countries who typecast Filipinos.
    There are efforts naman from the government, but not enough. Or the government’s not really sincere. I don’t know… 😦

  3. virtualfriend
    June 12, 2008

    Salve my sister, typecasting Pinoys is nothing. Some employers in some countries also confiscate OFW passports the moment the OFW reaches his place of work. This, I consider worse than imprisonment.

    We had a Philippine envoy before who tried to do the same here in Europe. We kicked his ‘A’ out but it took us time to get someone from the palace who is willing to associate himself with the lowly OFWs!

    Government? Nah. Those “medals” they are giving our Modern Heroes” are fake golds. If only the government is sincere, those billions of dollars of annual remittances could have been used to invest on self sufficiency on rice. It’s a joke to see a rice-farming country like the Philippines importing its primary staple!

    They call you a hero if you send dollars to the coffers. But when you are in distress in other countries, and you go asking our officials for help, they call you a nuisance.

  4. brainteaser
    June 13, 2008

    Hey friends! How are you?

    Waaaaaa! Politics was far from my mind when I posted this. It simply isn’t my cup of tea. 😦

    But ok, you talk politics.

    I’ll listen! 🙂

    (Will post something when I can think of something to post? 🙂 )

  5. bradruggles
    June 15, 2008

    “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”

    Man! That’s a great quote! It’s going in my journal. Thanks!!

  6. brainteaser
    June 15, 2008

    Welcome, Bradruggles! Good morning to you.

    Yes, that’s my fave quote in the whole speech. One simply cannot live without taking some risks.

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