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commencement:2019 [2019/05/30 09:21]
Macallan 18
commencement:2019 [2019/05/30 09:39] (current)
Macallan 18
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 **//​[[https://​youtu.be/​9hT4kLoooTw| A recording of the commencement speech can be found online.]]//​** **//​[[https://​youtu.be/​9hT4kLoooTw| A recording of the commencement speech can be found online.]]//​**
  
-First, congratulations to Marquette University class of 2019.+First, congratulations to the Marquette University class of 2019.
  
 You have made it to graduation day, this is really happening. ​ You have made it to graduation day, this is really happening. ​
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 I have to say it is very cool to be here with you, it is cool to be in the building where the Milwaukee Bucks play.  I have to say it is very cool to be here with you, it is cool to be in the building where the Milwaukee Bucks play. 
  
-I feel their aura here, I feel surrounded by men who are bigger, stronger and much greater than myself and now I know how the Toronto Raptors feel. +I feel their aura here, I feel surrounded by men who are bigger, stronger and much greater than myselfand now I know how the Toronto Raptors feel. 
  
-Since you have gotten into Marquette, you have mastered skills, you have learned how to dominate classroom discussions while doing none of the reading.+Since you have gotten into Marquette, you have mastered skills. You have learned how to dominate classroom discussions while doing none of the reading.
  
-In lecture halls, you've mastered another skill, right now it looks like you are starring at me with rapt attention but in fact you are completely asleep. ​+In lecture halls, you've mastered another skill. Right now it looks like you are starring at me with rapt attention but in fact you are completely asleep. ​
  
 Over the past four years at Marquette you've worked hard, made dozens of friends and done your laundry at least six times. ​ Over the past four years at Marquette you've worked hard, made dozens of friends and done your laundry at least six times. ​
  
-I salute your community service, you've spent one spring break unicycling across Thailand while reading to lepers.+I salute your community service. You've spent one spring break unicycling across Thailand while reading to lepers.
  
-I salute your cultural sophistication, you tell your friends you like Kendrick Lamar, but secretly you like Taylor Swift before she got angry.+I salute your cultural sophistication. You tell your friends you like Kendrick Lamar, but secretly you like Taylor Swift before she got angry.
  
 Now on this big day, your life takes an exciting turn. There are two paths ahead of you, one leads to a soul crushing job as a cog in a corporate machine. The other leads to permanent residence in your parents basement. ​ Now on this big day, your life takes an exciting turn. There are two paths ahead of you, one leads to a soul crushing job as a cog in a corporate machine. The other leads to permanent residence in your parents basement. ​
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 I'm here to remind you, you shouldn'​t spend time worrying about the financial stuff, your parents will be happy to pay your rent for another ten or twenty years. ​ I'm here to remind you, you shouldn'​t spend time worrying about the financial stuff, your parents will be happy to pay your rent for another ten or twenty years. ​
  
-I also remind you that you are in a beautiful spot in your lives, more mature than the freshmen, sexier than the facultya lot sexier than the Marquette faculty as a matter of fact. +I also remind you that you are in a beautiful spot in your lives. More mature than the freshmen, sexier than the facultya lot sexier than the Marquette faculty as a matter of fact. 
  
-You may not have been to other college commencements before so you may not know the etiquette, after you get your degree, its customary to give President Lovell a little tip, ten or twenty bucks to show him he did a good job. +You may not have been to other college commencements before so you may not know the etiquette. After you get your degree, its customary to give President Lovell a little tip, ten or twenty bucks to show him he did a good job. 
  
 It is also customary to give your commencement speaker a little tip, six or seven hundred dollars, five thousand for ECON majors. ​ It is also customary to give your commencement speaker a little tip, six or seven hundred dollars, five thousand for ECON majors. ​
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 These started a few years ago with Steve Jobs and J.K. Rowling and from these addresses we learned that failure is great if you happen to be Steve Jobs or J.K. Rowling. ​ These started a few years ago with Steve Jobs and J.K. Rowling and from these addresses we learned that failure is great if you happen to be Steve Jobs or J.K. Rowling. ​
  
-For most people failure stinks, don't fail that is my advice. ​+For most people failure stinks, don't failthat is my advice. ​
  
 Now commencement speeches are the way our culture hands down its values, so I read a lot of these things and what strikes me about most of them is that they are big boxes of nothing. ​ Now commencement speeches are the way our culture hands down its values, so I read a lot of these things and what strikes me about most of them is that they are big boxes of nothing. ​
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 I haven'​t lived up to my ideals. I have failed my ideals all the time, but I do believe in these ideals. And the word I'd like to build my speech around is the word commitment.  ​ I haven'​t lived up to my ideals. I have failed my ideals all the time, but I do believe in these ideals. And the word I'd like to build my speech around is the word commitment.  ​
  
-Over the next 15 years most of you will make four big committments: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a community and to a philosophy or faith. ​+Over the next 15 years most of you will make four big commitments: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a community and to a philosophy or faith. ​
  
 The fulfillment of your entire lives will be determined by how wisely you chose your commitment and how well you execute upon them.  The fulfillment of your entire lives will be determined by how wisely you chose your commitment and how well you execute upon them. 
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 That is a total commitment. That is a total commitment.
  
-Your commitments will give you your identity. In 20 years you'll introduce yourself according to your greatest commitment. I'm a MarineI'm a CatholicI'm a teacherI'm a momI'm a dad. +Your commitments will give you your identity. In 20 years you'll introduce yourself according to your greatest commitment. I'm a MarineI'm a CatholicI'm a teacherI'm a momI'm a dad. 
  
 When you start serving your commitment it gets inside of you and changes who you are.  When you start serving your commitment it gets inside of you and changes who you are. 
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 Don't let these questions drift. ​ Don't let these questions drift. ​
  
-The people who are know that are the most unhappiest just let their life drift from one day to the other. ​+The people who know that are the most unhappiest just let their life drift from one day to the other. ​
  
 Now how do you chose your commitments. How do you chose what work to go into. Who to marry. Where to live.  Now how do you chose your commitments. How do you chose what work to go into. Who to marry. Where to live. 
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 Choosing a career is weirdly ascetic. When the scientist EO Wilson was seven he took his first trip to the beach. He saw creatures outside of his previous imagination like jelly fish. One day he was sitting on a dock with his feet in the water when a sting ray glided beneath him. He was thunder struck. Choosing a career is weirdly ascetic. When the scientist EO Wilson was seven he took his first trip to the beach. He saw creatures outside of his previous imagination like jelly fish. One day he was sitting on a dock with his feet in the water when a sting ray glided beneath him. He was thunder struck.
  
-He calculated that children see animals at twice the size as adults, and at that moment a naturalist was born. He loved the ocean and he loved animals. It was that sheer sense of beauty. He has spent the next eight odd years studying nature. ​+He calculated that children see animals at twice the size as adults, and at that moment a naturalist was born. He loved the ocean and he loved animals. It was that sheer sense of beauty. He has spent the next eighty ​odd years studying nature. ​
  
 Beauty calls to us in this way. When my daughter was five, she walked into a hockey rink and to this day she teaches hockey to young adults in California. ​ Beauty calls to us in this way. When my daughter was five, she walked into a hockey rink and to this day she teaches hockey to young adults in California. ​
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 Einstein was given a compass when he was five, he was amazed at the invisible forces controlling the needle and he spent the rest of his life investigating the hidden forces of the universe. ​ Einstein was given a compass when he was five, he was amazed at the invisible forces controlling the needle and he spent the rest of his life investigating the hidden forces of the universe. ​
  
-A painter was once asked why she became a painter. She replied I love the smell of paint. It is just that natural beauty. ​+A painter was once asked why she became a painter. She repliedI love the smell of paint. It is just that natural beauty. ​
  
 One bit of advice from Nietzsche is write down the four most beautiful moments in your life, then see if you can draw a thematic line through them. If you can do that, you will have found the law of your very nature. ​ One bit of advice from Nietzsche is write down the four most beautiful moments in your life, then see if you can draw a thematic line through them. If you can do that, you will have found the law of your very nature. ​
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 Kindness does not seem like a very sexy or exciting trait, but kind people make the best relationship partners. ​ Kindness does not seem like a very sexy or exciting trait, but kind people make the best relationship partners. ​
  
-Neurotic people seem really exciting, but the drama and self sabatoge ​will never end. +Neurotic people seem really exciting, but the drama and self sabotage ​will never end. 
  
 Then there is the emotional lens. There has to be a lot of passion between you to fuse you together so you can withstand the difficulties that any relationship involves. You should be thinking about him all the time, you should see her face in every crowd, you should feel a burning pain in your stomach when you go away from him.  Then there is the emotional lens. There has to be a lot of passion between you to fuse you together so you can withstand the difficulties that any relationship involves. You should be thinking about him all the time, you should see her face in every crowd, you should feel a burning pain in your stomach when you go away from him. 
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 After you have made a commitment, how do you execute it well.  After you have made a commitment, how do you execute it well. 
  
-Again the wise person ​throughout the centuries have left us clues. ​+Again the wise persons ​throughout the centuries have left us clues. ​
  
-The first is max your commitments maximal commitments.+The first is make your commitments maximal commitments.
  
 Every commitment like going to med school or joining the military has a testing period, a boot camp. The only way to get through it is with an attitude of total abandonment,​ go all in and burn all the bridges behind you.  Every commitment like going to med school or joining the military has a testing period, a boot camp. The only way to get through it is with an attitude of total abandonment,​ go all in and burn all the bridges behind you. 
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 Religions are filled with rituals, spiritual disciplines because people need structures to serve as daily guides to keep them on their commitments. ​ Religions are filled with rituals, spiritual disciplines because people need structures to serve as daily guides to keep them on their commitments. ​
  
-Now I'm a writer so I'm fascinated by the way writers structure their commitment to their vocation. Maya Angelou would wake up at five thirty every morning ​at six thirty she would go off to a modest hotel room she kept. Inside the room there were four things: a bed, a desk, a dictionary, a deck of cards a Bible and a bottle of Sherry. She would arrive at seven and leave at twelve thirty sharp.+Now I'm a writer so I'm fascinated by the way writers structure their commitment to their vocation. Maya Angelou would wake up at five thirty every morning. At six thirty she would go off to a modest hotel room she kept. Inside the room there were four things: a bed, a desk, a dictionary, a deck of cards a Bible and a bottle of Sherry. She would arrive at seven and leave at twelve thirty sharp.
  
-The short story master John Cheever would get up, put on his only suit, ride the elevator to the basement of his building where he had an office. He would then take off the suit, write in his boxers ​'​til ​twelve thirty and then put back on the suit and ride the elevators ​upstairs to make himself lunch. ​+The short story master John Cheever would get up, put on his only suit, ride the elevator to the basement of his building where he had an office. He would then take off the suit, write in his boxers ​until twelve thirty and then put back on the suit and ride the elevator ​upstairs to make himself lunch. ​
  
 Ritual and routine. ​ Ritual and routine. ​
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 At the end of her life she was asked by a guy named Robert Coles if she would write her memoir and she said, you know I once tried. I sat down with a piece of paper and I wrote on top A Life Remembered and then I sat there and I thought of the Lord and his visit to us those many centuries ago and I was just grateful to have had him on my mind all that time.  At the end of her life she was asked by a guy named Robert Coles if she would write her memoir and she said, you know I once tried. I sat down with a piece of paper and I wrote on top A Life Remembered and then I sat there and I thought of the Lord and his visit to us those many centuries ago and I was just grateful to have had him on my mind all that time. 
  
-She had reached a place after sixty years of commitment of total serenity and complete peace and joy.+She had reached a place after sixty years of commitmentof total serenity and complete peace and joy.
  
 Marquette class of 2019 congratulations. Marquette class of 2019 congratulations.

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