J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Address
The most recent class of Harvard University graduates were ushered out of their college years by none other than Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling this week, who gave a commencement speech titled "The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination."
The Harvard University Gazette has published a full transcript of the speech, which includes the following thoughts on failure and how it relates to some of the graduates she addressed:
I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.
However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person’s idea of success, so high have you already flown academically.
Rowling also received an honorary doctor of letters degree from the university.
(via Pop Candy)