What are you for? — Commencement Speech, 2011

I’ve decided to write an annual commencement speech and just published my first one. Read the full text over at my personal blog, and enjoy the excerpt below:

This ability to think critically is a vital skill for succeeding in the world. But I would suggest to you that more vital yet is your decision about how you will use this skill, that your decision about how you will apply your critical insight is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

As a natural critic, it is very easy to figure out what you’re against, what’s not worth your time, what is bound to fail. But it’s exponentially more difficult to decide what you are for, what is worth your time, what you are going to believe in and support and throw yourself into whole-heartedly.

And it is this much more difficult task of deciding what you are for, that is not only one of the great ingredients of success, but is precisely what the world needs from you in the era of history that you now inherit.

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